a person used to serve the purposes of another; tool.

a hitch made in the bight of a rope so that two eyes are formed to hold the hook of one block of a tackle.
a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a comparatively small area.
the small area ruffled by such a breeze.

Historical Examples

Of course, there was always the possibility of bad weather or a broken cable, but the catspaw’s crew declined to be pessimistic.
The Adventure Club Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour

Was this little alien waif to be made a catspaw for her revenge?
Flamsted quarries Mary E. Waller

catspaw told me that the notary has not a rag of paper to prove his noble descent by.
The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs

The justice was on the point of yielding, when Mr. catspaw approached the group.
The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs

That’s a lot of money, isn’t it, for an old schooner like the catspaw?
The Adventure Club Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour

Messrs. Skinner and catspaw looked at each other and smiled.
The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs

Letters are found in Mr. catspaw’s room addressed to Tengelyi; and, besides, here is the notary’s stick!
The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs

“I am sure it’s a plot,” whispered Mr. catspaw to the assessor.
The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs

He had tried to make James a catspaw in revenging himself on Spain, and he had to take the consequences.
Raleigh Edmund Gosse

What prevents Mr. catspaw from preserving the means of defence?
The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs

a person used by another as a tool; dupe
(nautical) a hitch in the form of two loops, or eyes, in the bight of a line, used for attaching it to a hook
a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind


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