definitions
  • synonyms

cat's-paw

or cats·paw

[ kats-paw ]
/ ˈkætsˌpɔ /
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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR cat's-paw ON THESAURUS.COM

noun

a person used to serve the purposes of another; tool.
Nautical.
  1. a hitch made in the bight of a rope so that two eyes are formed to hold the hook of one block of a tackle.
  2. a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a comparatively small area.
  3. the small area ruffled by such a breeze.

RELATED WORDS

stooge, sucker, tool, dupe, instrument, chump, sap

Nearby words

cat's whiskers, cat's-claw, cat's-ear, cat's-eye, cat's-foot, cat's-paw, cat's-tail, cat's-tail speedwell, cat-and-dog, cat-built, cat-cry syndrome

Origin of cat's-paw

First recorded in 1650–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catspaw

British Dictionary definitions for catspaw

cat's-paw


noun

a person used by another as a tool; dupe
nautical a hitch in the form of two loops, or eyes, in the bight of a line, used for attaching it to a hook
a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind

Word Origin for cat's-paw

(sense 1) C18: so called from the tale of the monkey who used a cat's paw to draw chestnuts out of a fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012