Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small carnivorous mammal (Felis catus or F. domesticus) domesticated since early times as a catcher of rats and mice and as a pet and existing in several distinctive breeds and varieties.
  • n. Any of various other carnivorous mammals of the family Felidae, which includes the lion, tiger, leopard, and lynx.
  • n. The fur of a domestic cat.
  • n. Informal A woman who is regarded as spiteful.
  • n. Slang A person, especially a man.
  • n. Slang A player or devotee of jazz music.
  • n. A cat-o'-nine-tails.
  • n. A catfish.
  • n. Nautical A cathead.
  • n. Nautical A device for raising an anchor to the cathead.
  • n. Nautical A catboat.
  • n. Nautical A catamaran.
  • transitive v. Nautical To hoist an anchor to (the cathead).
  • intransitive v. Slang To look for sexual partners; have an affair or affairs: "catting around with every lady in sight” ( Gore Vidal).
  • idiom let the cat out of the bag To let a secret be known.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any similar animal of the family Felidae, which includes lions, tigers, bobcats, etc.
  • n. A catfish.
  • n. An enthusiast or player of jazz.
  • n. A person (usually male).
  • n. A strong tackle used to hoist an anchor to the cathead of a ship.
  • n. Contraction of cat-o'-nine-tails.
  • n. Any of a variety of earth-moving machines. (from their manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.)
  • n. A sturdy merchant sailing vessel (now only in "catboat").
  • n. The game of "trap and ball" (also called "cat and dog").
  • n. The trap of the game of "trap and ball".
  • n. A vagina; female external genitalia
  • v. To hoist (the anchor) by its ring so that it hangs at the cathead.
  • v. To flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
  • v. To vomit something.
  • n. A catamaran.
  • n. A ‘catenate’ program and command in Unix that reads one or more files and directs their content to an output device.
  • v. To apply the cat command to (one or more files).
  • v. To dump large amounts of data on (an unprepared target) usually with no intention of browsing it carefully.
  • adj. terrible, disastrous.
  • n. A street name of the drug methcathinone.
  • n. A catapult.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any animal belonging to the natural family Felidae, and in particular to the various species of the genera Felis, Panthera, and Lynx. The domestic cat is Felis domestica. The European wild cat (Felis catus) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name wild cat is commonly applied to the bay lynx (Lynx rufus). The larger felines, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See wild cat, and tiger cat.
  • n.
  • n. A strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal and timber trade.
  • n. A strong tackle used to draw an anchor up to the cathead of a ship.
  • n. A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position it is placed.
  • n. An old game
  • n. The game of tipcat and the implement with which it is played. See Tipcat.
  • n. A game of ball, called, according to the number of batters, one old cat, two old cat, etc.
  • n. same as cat o' nine tails.
  • n. A catamaran.
  • transitive v. To bring to the cathead. See anchor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A domesticated carnivorous quadruped of the family Felidæ and genus Felis, F. domestica.
  • n. In general, any digitigrade carnivorous quadruped of the family Felidæ, as the lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, etc., especially of the genus Felis, and more particularly one of the smaller species of this genus; and of the short-tailed species of the genus Lynx.
  • n. A ferret.
  • n. A gossipy, meddlesome woman given to scandal and intrigue.
  • n. A catfish.
  • n. A whip: a contraction of cat-o'-nine-tails.
  • n. A double tripod having six feet: so called because it always lands on its feet, as a cat is proverbially said to do.
  • n. In the middle ages, a frame of heavy timber with projecting pins or teeth, hoisted up to the battlements, ready to be dropped upon assailants. Also called prickly cat.
  • n. A piece of wood tapering to a point at both ends, used in playing tip-cat.
  • n. The game of tip-cat. Also called cat-and-dog.
  • n. In faro, the occurrence of two cards of the same denomination out of the last three in the deck.
  • n. In coal-mining, a clunchy rock. See clunch.
  • n. [Apparently in allusion to the sly and deceitful habits of the cat.] A mess of coarse meal, clay, etc., placed on dovecotes, to allure strangers.
  • n. In plastering, that portion of the first rough coat which fills the space between the laths, often projecting at the back, and serving to hold the plaster firmly to the walls.
  • n. The salt which crystallizes about stakes placed beneath the holes in the bottom of the troughs in which salt is put to drain.
  • n. A ship formed on the Norwegian model, having a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and a deep waist.
  • n. Nautical, a tackle used in hoisting an anchor from the hawse-hole to the cat-head.
  • To draw (an anchor) up to the cat-head.
  • To fill with soft clay, as the intervals between laths: as, a chimney well catted.
  • To fish for catfish.
  • n. An abbreviated form of catamaran.
  • n. The form of cata- before a vowel.
  • n. In medieval warfare, a machine resembling the pluteus, under the protection of which soldiers worked in sapping walls and fosses.
  • n. plural In mining, burnt clay used for tamping.
  • n. Same as channel-cat.
  • To act after the manner of soft clay or mortar in filling crevices.
  • An abbreviation of Catalan: [lowercase] of catalogue; of catechism.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a whip with nine knotted cords
  • n. an informal term for a youth or man
  • n. a spiteful woman gossip
  • v. eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
  • n. the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea; has the effect of a euphoric stimulant
  • n. a large tracked vehicle that is propelled by two endless metal belts; frequently used for moving earth in construction and farm work
  • v. beat with a cat-o'-nine-tails
  • n. feline mammal usually having thick soft fur and no ability to roar: domestic cats; wildcats
  • n. a method of examining body organs by scanning them with X rays and using a computer to construct a series of cross-sectional scans along a single axis
  • n. any of several large cats typically able to roar and living in the wild

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English catt, from Germanic *kattuz. Sense 6d, short for catamaran.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English cat, catte, from Old English catt ("male cat") and catte ("female cat"), from Late Latin cattus ("domestic cat"), from Latin catta (c.75 B.C., Martial), from Afro-Asiatic (compare Nubian kadís, Berber kaddîska 'wildcat'), from Late Egyptian čaute,[2] feminine of čaus 'jungle cat, African wildcat', from earlier Egyptian tešau 'female cat'. Cognate with Scots cat ("cat"), Welsh cath ("cat"), West Frisian kat ("cat"), North Frisian kåt ("cat"), Dutch kat ("cat"), Low German Katt, Katte ("cat"), German Katze ("cat"), Danish kat ("cat"), Swedish katt ("cat"), Icelandic köttur ("cat"). (Wiktionary)
Abbreviation of catamaran. (Wiktionary)
Abbreviation of catenate. (Wiktionary)
Possibly a shortened form of catastrophic. (Wiktionary)
Shortened from methcathinone. (Wiktionary)
Shortened from catapult. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In a subsequent passage, "I am as melancholy as a gibb'd cat" -- we are told that _cat_ is not the domestic animal of that name, but a contraction of _catin_, a woman of the town.

    Famous Reviews

  • For example, that familiar animal the cat is called in Guyenne _lou catou_ and even _lou cat_; but the word belongs to the Romance language, and is the same all through Languedoc and

    Wanderings by southern waters, eastern Aquitaine

  • "To class man and the ape together, or the lion with the cat, and to say that the lion is a _cat with a mane and a long tail_ -- this were to degrade and disfigure nature instead of describing her and denominating her species."

    Evolution, Old & New Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, as compared with that of Charles Darwin

  • As for a cat itself, I cannot say too much against it; and it is singular, that the other meanings of the single word are equally disagreeable; as to _cat_ the anchor, is a sign of _going to sea_, and the _cat_ at the gangway is the worst of all.

    Olla Podrida

  • : This is a very rare sight at Casa Da Costa ... a cat actually sitting in a * cat* bas .. tinyurl. com / d42l4o

    Portia Da Costa

  • (face scrunched-half cry-makes like a cat cleaning itself) ... the cat 

    Oh, Dada!

  • Barbaste, pren garde a la gatte qué bay gatoua: "-- 'Millar of Barbaste, beware of the cat' (_gatte_ means, indifferently, _cat_ or _mine_) 'which is going to kitten' (_gatoua_ has the meaning of _blowing up_, as well.)

    Béarn and the Pyrenees A Legendary Tour to the Country of Henri Quatre

  • (El Guirri ´s cat is the ´ninja cat fail cat´, Thu 12 Mar,

    B3ta

  • The full cast includes the singing voices of Ms. Harrow (as the title cat), Grady Tate (as the Artist), Anton Krukowski and Daryl Sherman, with Kameron Steele as the narrator.

    The Cat Who Went To Heaven At HSA «

  • Sauvignon blanc is one of those wines you either love or hate, embracing as it does the full flavour spectrum from tropical fruits right through to cat's pee - by the way, who in the world ever decided to use the term cat's pee....did they try some?

    Archive 2006-11-01

Comments

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  • *click*

    June 1, 2012

  • We use this word to test that everything is up and running, so it gets looked up a lot. We could filter it out, but we like cats. :-)

    May 10, 2012

  • blafferty Why is this always a "trending word"? May 12, 2011 ⋅ Spam?

    Has our moggy notched up a year of trending?!

    May 10, 2012

  • Rolig, is your cat named after Dr. Erasmus Darwin? (See the first example above.)

    January 5, 2012

  • are the 'trending words' words actually updating? cat is always #1. it's utterly disturbing to me. dog is nowhere in sight. lol

    September 25, 2011

  • its disturbing to me that this is always at the top of the trending list, and now there's two of them. I'm disturbed enough as it is, this is not good.

    August 5, 2011

  • That's strange--I thought all cats spoke Latvian.

    Edit: And English.

    June 14, 2011

  • mijaauuu

    *Erazma, pejd stran od računalnika!*

    Apologies, all. My cat Erazma was playing with the keyboard again.

    June 14, 2011

  • If you wish to brag about your superior digestion of cyanobacterial toxins, go ahead. Beast!

    June 9, 2011

  • That's just your barcoo disease talking, mister!

    June 9, 2011

  • Spiteful, but possibly not the owner of a blog about cat whipping.

    June 9, 2011

  • But who would affix the tag "false friend" to a puddy-tat? Spiteful bastards, that's who.

    June 9, 2011

  • *click*

    June 9, 2011

  • *click*

    June 9, 2011

  • Hm. The word cat still seems to be trending. I wonder why--maybe I should just click on it to find out....

    *click*

    Ooh! Look! A delicious food pellet!

    June 9, 2011

  • Still trending, after all this time. Cats are so hot right now. Apparently.

    June 1, 2011

  • Sionnach's kitties at the keyboard again.

    May 12, 2011

  • Why is this always a "trending word"?

    May 12, 2011

  • "23. In medieval warfare, a machine resembling the pluteus, under the protection of which soldiers worked in sapping walls and fosses."

    --Century Dictionary

    January 8, 2011

  • also, a collier or coal ship

    July 30, 2010

  • Not a homophone though.

    July 18, 2009

  • Means "paint" in Indonesian.

    July 13, 2009

  • n. acronym for: computerized axial tomography.

    February 18, 2009

  • The ship broke out her own anchor, which we catted and fished, after a fashion, and were soon close-hauled, under reefed sails, standing off from the lee shore and rocks against a heavy head sea.

    - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast, ch. 25

    September 9, 2008

  • Cats. What are they thinking?

    July 17, 2008

  • Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the deaths of their cats.

    May 7, 2008

  • Supposedly, cat's have got 32 muscles in each ear!

    October 5, 2007

  • See mice.

    September 9, 2007

  • As an adjective in Ireland, it means 'terrible', 'disgusting' or 'odious'.

    February 23, 2007