cat
cat cat (k[a^]t), n. [AS. cat; akin to D. & Dan. kat, Sw. katt, Icel. k["o]ttr, G. katze, kater, Ir. cat, W. cath, Armor. kaz, LL. catus, Bisc. catua, NGr. ga`ta, ga`tos, Russ. & Pol. kot, Turk. kedi, Ar. qitt; of unknown origin. Cf. {Kitten}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any animal belonging to the natural family {Felidae}, and in particular to the various species of the genera {Felis}, {Panthera}, and {Lynx}. The domestic cat is {Felis domestica}. The European wild cat ({Felis catus}) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name {wild cat} is commonly applied to the bay lynx ({Lynx rufus}). The larger felines, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See {Wild cat}, and {Tiger cat}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: The domestic cat includes many varieties named from their place of origin or from some peculiarity; as, the {Angora cat}; the {Maltese cat}; the {Manx cat}; the {Siamese cat}. [1913 Webster]

Laying aside their often rancorous debate over how best to preserve the {Florida panther}, state and federal wildlife officials, environmentalists, and independent scientists endorsed the proposal, and in 1995 the eight cats [female Texas cougars] were brought from Texas and released. . . . Uprooted from the arid hills of West Texas, three of the imports have died, but the remaining five adapted to swamp life and have each given birth to at least one litter of kittens. --Mark Derr (N. Y. Times, Nov. 2, 1999, Science Times p. F2). [PJC]

Note: The word cat is also used to designate other animals, from some fancied resemblance; as, civet cat, fisher cat, catbird, catfish shark, sea cat. [1913 Webster]

2. (Naut.) (a) A strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal and timber trade. (b) A strong tackle used to draw an anchor up to the cathead of a ship. --Totten. [1913 Webster]

3. A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position it is placed. [1913 Webster]

4. An old game; specifically: (a) The game of tipcat and the implement with which it is played. See {Tipcat}. (b) A game of ball, called, according to the number of batters, one old cat, two old cat, etc. [1913 Webster]

5. same as {cat o' nine tails}; as, British sailors feared the cat. [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]

6. A {catamaran}. [PJC]

{Angora cat}, {blind cat}, See under {Angora}, {Blind}.

{Black cat} the fisher. See under {Black}.

{Cat and dog}, like a cat and dog; quarrelsome; inharmonious. ``I am sure we have lived a cat and dog life of it.'' --Coleridge.

{Cat block} (Naut.), a heavy iron-strapped block with a large hook, part of the tackle used in drawing an anchor up to the cathead.

{Cat hook} (Naut.), a strong hook attached to a cat block.

{Cat nap}, a very short sleep. [Colloq.]

{Cat o' nine tails}, an instrument of punishment consisting of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a handle; -- formerly used to flog offenders on the bare back.

{Cat's cradle}, game played, esp. by children, with a string looped on the fingers so, as to resemble small cradle. The string is transferred from the fingers of one to those of another, at each transfer with a change of form. See {Cratch}, {Cratch cradle}.

{To bell the cat}, to perform a very dangerous or very difficult task; -- taken metaphorically from a fable about a mouse who proposes to put a bell on a cat, so as to be able to hear the cat coming.

{To let the cat out of the bag}, to tell a secret, carelessly or willfully. [Colloq.]

{Bush cat}, the serval. See {Serval}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cât — CÂT, Ă, conj., prep., adv., (IV) câţi, te, pron. (V) câturi, s.n. I. conj. 1. (Introduce propoziţii temporale) În timpul în care..., atâta timp, până când... Se poartă frumos cu mine cât ştie că i sunt de folos. ♢ expr. (reg.) Cât ce... = îndată… …   Dicționar Român

  • cat — cat·a·chres·ti·cal; cat·a·chres·ti·cal·ly; cat·a·clas·mic; cat·a·clys·mal; cat·a·fal·co; cat·a·lat·ic; cat·a·lep·ti·cal·ly; cat·a·logu·er; cat·a·logu·ize; cat·a·me·ni·al; cat·am·nes·tic; cat·a·ract·al; cat·ar·rhin·i·an; cat·a·stroph·i·cal;… …   English syllables

  • cat — W3S1 [kæt] n [: Old English; Origin: catt, probably from Latin cattus, catta] 1.) a) a small animal with four legs that people often keep as a pet. Cats sometimes kill small animals and birds →↑feline tabby/ginger/tortoiseshell etc cat (=colours… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • .cat — Creado en 2005 Tipo de TLD dominio de internet patrocinado Estado Activo Uso actual 50.000 dominios registrados (Junio 2011) 1 Restricciones de registro Exclusivo para lengua catalana Estructura Los registros pueden ser de seg …   Wikipedia Español

  • cat — [ kæt ] noun count *** 1. ) an animal with soft fur, a long thin tail, and WHISKERS, that people keep as a pet or for catching mice. A young cat is called a kitten. a ) a wild animal that looks like a big cat, for example a lion or TIGER: BIG CAT …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • .cat — (auch bezeichnet als puntCAT) ist eine gesponserte generische Top Level Domain (sTLD), deren Einführung im September 2005 beschlossen wurde. Ihr Zweck ist die Förderung der katalanischen Sprache und Kultur. Sponsor ist die Fundació puntCAT. Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • cat — ► NOUN 1) a small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractile claws. 2) a wild animal resembling this, in particular a lion, tiger, or other member of the cat family. 3) informal a malicious or spiteful woman. ●… …   English terms dictionary

  • cat — O.E. catt (c.700), from West Germanic (c.400 450), from P.Gmc. *kattuz (Cf. O.Fris. katte, O.N. köttr, Du. kat, O.H.G. kazza, Ger. Katze), from L.L. cattus (also the source of Gael. cat, Welsh kath, Bret. kaz, It. gatto, Sp. gato, Fr …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cat — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cat — o nine tails Cat o nine tails , cat o nine tails cat o nine tails . 1. a whip used as an instrument of punishment consisting of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a handle; formerly used to flog offenders on the bare back; called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”