- the foot of an animal having claws.
- the foot of any animal.
- Informal. the human hand, especially one that is large, rough, or clumsy: Keep your paws off my property.
- to strike or scrape with the paws or feet: a dog pawing the door.
- Informal. to handle or caress clumsily, rudely, or with unwelcome familiarity.
- to beat or scrape the floor, ground, etc., with the paws or feet.
- Informal. to handle or caress someone or something in a clumsy or rude manner or with unwelcome familiarity.
Origin of paw1
- any of the feet of a four-legged mammal, bearing claws or nails
- informal a hand, esp one that is large, clumsy, etc
- to scrape or contaminate with the paws or feet
- (tr) informal to touch or caress in a clumsy, rough, or overfamiliar manner; maul
Word Origin for paw
c.1300, from Old French powe, poe "paw, fist," of uncertain origin. Evidence points to a Gallo-Romance root form *pauta which probably is related to the source of patten.
"use the hands roughly," c.1600, from paw (n.). Related: Pawed; pawing. Middle English had pawen "to touch or strike with the paw" (c.1400).