• synonyms


[poo s]
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  1. a cat.
  2. Informal. a girl or woman: often used as a form of affectionate address.
  3. British. a hare.
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Origin of puss1

1520–30; akin to Dutch poes, Low German puus-katte, dialectal Swedish kattepus, Norwegian puse(kat)
Related formspuss·like, adjective
Can be confusedpus puss


[poo s]
noun Slang.
  1. face: She smacked him in the puss.
  2. mouth: Shut your puss before I shut it for you.
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Origin of puss2

First recorded in 1880–85, puss is from the Irish word pus lip, mouth
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for puss


  1. an informal name for a cat 1 (def. 1) See also pussy 1 (def. 1)
  2. slang a girl or woman
  3. an informal name for a hare
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Word Origin

C16: related to Middle Low German pūs, Dutch poes, Lithuanian puz


noun slang
  1. the face
  2. Irish a gloomy or sullen expression
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Word Origin

C17: from Irish pus
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 puss


"cat," 1520s, but probably much older than the record, perhaps imitative of the hissing sound commonly used to get a cat's attention. A conventional name for a cat in Germanic languages and as far off as Afghanistan; it is the root of the principal word for "cat" in Rumanian (pisica) and secondary words in Lithuanian (puz), Low German (puus), Swedish dialect katte-pus, etc. Applied to a girl or woman from c.1600, originally in a negative sense, implying unpleasant cat-like qualities; but by mid-19c. in affectionate use.

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"the face" (but sometimes, especially in pugilism slang, "the mouth"), 1890, slang, from Irish pus "lip, mouth."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper