a narrow walkway, especially one high above the surrounding area, used to provide access or allow workers to stand or move, as over the stage in a theater, outside the roadway of a bridge, along the top of a railroad car, etc.
Contemporary Examples

Nowhere was the message as clear as on Comme des Garçons’ catwalk.
Do Fuchsias Have More Fun? Alisa Gould-Simon August 25, 2009

The first cat on the catwalk (sorry, we had to) was Vengeance, a 12-week-old Sphinx in an argyle sweater.
Kitty CATure Fashion Show, An Amazing Dog and Cat Fashion Show, Happened In New York This Weekend Lori-Lee Emshey September 29, 2013

The catwalk shows have become more professional endeavors—interminable waits are a rarity; clunky models are an exception.
Royal Wedding Fever at London Fashion Week Robin Givhan February 21, 2011

But even if she is not on the catwalk, expect to see her art everywhere—signed Langley Fox, not Hemingway.
Langley Fox: A Hemingway in All But Name Justin Jones January 27, 2014

They created an installation that is reminiscent of a catwalk.
Inside Viktor & Rolf’s Dollhouse Isabel Wilkinson June 9, 2013

Historical Examples

He climbed out on the catwalk slowly, crouching to the smoothness of the plastic, and wriggled ahead.
One-Way Ticket to Nowhere Leroy Yerxa

Burke’s glasses flew from his face, hit the catwalk and caromed off to the ground.
Shaman Robert Shea

He snapped a cover back in place and swung down from the catwalk.
Alarm Clock Everett B. Cole

The Indians will be shooting down from the catwalk at our men when they try to get back here to us.
Shaman Robert Shea

I saw that the catwalk terminated ahead under the Power House, where steps led upward.
Astounding Stories, July, 1931 Various

a narrow ramp extending from the stage into the audience in a theatre, nightclub, etc, esp as used by models in a fashion show
a narrow pathway over the stage of a theatre, along a bridge, etc

1885, “long, narrow footway,” from cat (n.) + walk (n.); in reference to such narrowness of passage one has to cross carefully, as a cat walks. Originally of ships and theatrical back-stages. Application to fashion show runways is by 1942.


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