Dictionary.com

When the cat's away, the mice will play

Save This Word!

When a person in authority is away, those under the person's rule will enjoy their freedom.

QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

How to use When the cat's away, the mice will play in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with When the cat's away, the mice will play

when the cat's away, the mice will play

Without supervision, people will do as they please, especially in disregarding or breaking rules. For example, As soon as their parents left, the children invited all their friends over—when the cat's away, you know. This expression has been a proverb since about 1600 and is so well known it is often shortened, as in the example.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK