Cat's-paw Cat's"-paw`, n. 1. (Naut.) (a) A light transitory air which ruffles the surface of the water during a calm, or the ripples made by such a puff of air. (b) A particular hitch or turn in the bight of a rope, into which a tackle may be hooked. [1913 Webster]

2. A dupe; a tool; one who, or that which, is used by another as an instrument to a accomplish his purposes. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense the term refers to the fable of the monkey using the cat's paw to draw the roasting chestnuts out of the fire. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

, / (in serving another's purpose), ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cat's paw — may refer to:*Cat s paw the informal name of some species of Anigozanthus *Cat s Paw A family of small mussels of various sizes and colours living in freshwater rivers and some salt.The shell is shaped like a cats footprint. *Cat s paw (knot), a… …   Wikipedia

  • cat's-paw — cat s′ paw or cats′paw n. 1) a person who is exploited by another; tool 2) mer a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area 3) naut. a hitch made in the bight of a rope to hold the hook of a tackle • Etymology: 1650–60;… …   From formal English to slang

  • cat's paw — cats|paw [ˈkætspo: US po:] n old fashioned someone who is used by someone else to achieve something bad …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cat's-paw — [kats′pô΄] n. 1. a person used by another to do dangerous, distasteful, or unlawful work; dupe: from the tale of the monkey who used the cat s foot to rake the chestnuts out of the fire 2. a light breeze that ripples the surface of water 3. Naut …   English World dictionary

  • cat's paw — ► NOUN ▪ a person used by another to carry out an unpleasant task …   English terms dictionary

  • cat's-paw — noun (plural cat s paws) Date: circa 1769 1. a light air that ruffles the surface of the water in irregular patches during a calm 2. [from the fable of the monkey that used a cat s paw to draw chestnuts from the fire] one used by another as a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cat's paw — /ˈkæts pɔ / (say kats paw) noun 1. a person used by another to serve their purpose; a tool. 2. Nautical a kind of hitch in the bight of a rope, made to hook a tackle on. 3. Nautical a light breeze which ruffles the surface of the water over a… …   Australian English dictionary

  • cat's-paw — žemasis ožūnis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Hemodorinių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Anigozanthos humilis), paplitęs Australijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Anigozanthos humilis angl. cat s paw šaltinis Valstybinės lietuvių kalbos komisijos… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • cat's-paw — noun a) A pawn or dupe; somebody who has been unwittingly tricked into acting in anothers interest. A few Republicans lent behind the scenes support to this movement, hoping to use it as a cats paw to scratch Lincoln from the main party ticket… …   Wiktionary

  • cat's-paw — (Roget s Thesaurus II) also cats paw noun A person used or controlled by others: dupe, instrument, pawn2, puppet, stooge, tool. See OVER …   English dictionary for students

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