[ paw ]
/ pɔ /


verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

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.

Nearby words

  1. pavo,
  2. pavonine,
  3. pavonis,
  4. pavor nocturnus,
  5. pavé,
  6. pawky,
  7. pawl,
  8. pawn,
  9. pawn off,
  10. pawn ticket

Origin of paw

1300–50; Middle English pawe, variant of powe < Middle French poue (cognate with Provençal pauta) < Germanic; compare Dutch poot, German Pfote

Related formspaw·er, nounun·pawed, adjective

Can be confusedpaw poor porepause paws pores pours Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for pawer


/ (pɔː) /


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

C13: via Old French from Germanic; related to Middle Dutch pōte, German Pfote

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

Word Origin and History for pawer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper