Cat o' nine tails
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 also the {cat}. It was used in the British Navy to maintain discipline on board sailing ships.

Syn: cat. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 also the {cat}. It was used in the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cat o' nine tails — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — [kat΄ə nīn′tālz΄] n. pl. cat o nine tails a whip made of nine knotted cords attached to a handle, formerly used for flogging …   English World dictionary

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — [ˌkæt ə ˈnaın teılz] n [singular] a whip made of nine knotted strings, used in the past for punishing people …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — ► NOUN historical ▪ a rope whip with nine knotted cords, used for flogging …   English terms dictionary

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — 1690s, probably so called in reference to its claws. It was a legal instrument of punishment in British Navy until 1881 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Cat o' nine tails — This article is about the implement of punishment. For the Cat O Nine Tails plant, see Typha latifolia. For the film, see The Cat o Nine Tails. A leather cat o nine tails pictured with a U.S. dollar bill for size comparison. A U.S. dollar bill is …   Wikipedia

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — noun (plural cat o nine tails) Etymology: from the resemblance of its scars to the scratches of a cat Date: 1665 a whip made of usually nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — noun a) A whip having nine, often knotted, whipcords, formerly used for flogging as naval punishment. If you should give such language at sea, youd have a cat o’ nine tails laid cross your shoulders. b) A similarly constructed leather nine tail… …   Wiktionary

  • cat-o'-nine-tails — /ˌkæt ə ˈnaɪn ˌteɪlz / (say .kat uh nuyn .taylz) noun (plural cat o nine tails) a whip, usually having nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle, used to flog offenders …   Australian English dictionary

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