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a small domesticated carnivore, Felis domestica or F. catus, bred in a number of varieties.
any of several carnivores of the family Felidae, as the lion, tiger, leopard or jaguar, etc.

a person, especially a man.
a devotee of jazz.

a woman given to spiteful or malicious gossip.
the fur of the domestic cat.
a cat-o’-nine-tails.

Chiefly British. the tapering piece of wood used in the game of tipcat.
Chiefly British. the game itself.
four old cat, one old cat, three old cat, two old cat.

a catboat.
a catamaran.
a catfish.
Nautical. a tackle used in hoisting an anchor to the cathead.
a double tripod having six legs but resting on only three no matter how it is set down, usually used before or over a fire.
Navy Informal. catapult (def 2).
(in medieval warfare) a movable shelter for providing protection when approaching a fortification.
to flog with a cat-o’-nine-tails.
Nautical. to hoist (an anchor) and secure to a cathead.
British Slang. to vomit.
cat around, Slang.

to spend one’s time aimlessly or idly.
to seek sexual activity indiscriminately; tomcat.

bell the cat, to attempt something formidable or dangerous.
let the cat out of the bag, to divulge a secret, especially inadvertently or carelessly:
He let the cat out of the bag, and the surprise party wasn’t a surprise after all.
a Caterpillar tractor.
clear-air turbulence.
Medicine/Medical. computerized axial tomography.
catalog; catalogue.
a prefix meaning “down,” “against,” “back,” occurring originally in loanwords from Greek (cataclysm; catalog; catalepsy); on this model, used in the formation of other compound words (catagenesis; cataphyll).
Contemporary Examples

Project Runway’s Crazy Contestants Shannon Donnelly, The Daily Beast Video September 9, 2009
Kate Upton, Justin Bieber, and More Stars Who ‘Cat Daddy’ (VIDEO) Brittany Jones-Cooper May 1, 2012
Christine at the ‘Frat House’ Rebecca Dana October 12, 2010
Kitty CATure Fashion Show, An Amazing Dog and Cat Fashion Show, Happened In New York This Weekend Lori-Lee Emshey September 29, 2013
The War on Cats: Jonathan Franzen and Bird-Lovers Fight Back Ben Crair March 20, 2011

Historical Examples

All’s Well Emily Sarah Holt
Fairy Tales from Brazil Elsie Spicer Eells
The Landloper Holman Day
Dead Giveaway Gordon Randall Garrett
A Little Girl in Old Pittsburg Amanda M. Douglas

Also called domestic cat. a small domesticated feline mammal, Felis catus (or domesticus), having thick soft fur and occurring in many breeds in which the colour of the fur varies greatly: kept as a pet or to catch rats and mice
Also called big cat. any of the larger felines, such as a lion or tiger
any wild feline mammal of the genus Felis, such as the lynx or serval, resembling the domestic cat related adjective feline
(old-fashioned) a woman who gossips maliciously
(slang) a man; guy
(nautical) a heavy tackle for hoisting an anchor to the cathead
a short sharp-ended piece of wood used in the game of tipcat
short for catboat
(informal) short for Caterpillar
short for cat-o’-nine-tails
(Irish, informal) a bag of cats, a bad-tempered person: she’s a real bag of cats this morning
fight like Kilkenny cats, to fight until both parties are destroyed
let the cat out of the bag, to disclose a secret, often by mistake
like a cat on a hot tin roof, like a cat on hot bricks, in an uneasy or agitated state
like cat and dog, quarrelling savagely
look like something the cat brought in, to appear dishevelled or bedraggled
not a cat in hell’s chance, no chance at all
not have room to swing a cat, to have very little space
play cat and mouse, to play with a person or animal in a cruel or teasing way, esp before a final act of cruelty or unkindness
put the cat among the pigeons, to introduce some violently disturbing new element
rain cats and dogs, to rain very heavily
verb cats, catting, catted
(transitive) to flog with a cat-o’-nine-tails
(transitive) (nautical) to hoist (an anchor) to the cathead
(intransitive) a slang word for vomit
(informal) short for catamaran (sense 1)

short for catalytic converter
(as modifier): a cat car

short for catalytic a cat cracker
computer-aided teaching
computer-assisted trading
down; downwards; lower in position: catadromous, cataphyll
indicating reversal, opposition, degeneration, etc: cataplasia, catatonia

Caterpillar Inc.
clear air turbulence
computerized axial tomography
In addition to the idioms beginning with cat
cat got one’s tongue


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