cat

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See also: .cat, CAT, Cat, cât, and cãt

English

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A domestic cat

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English cat, catte, from Old English catt (male cat), catte (female cat), from Proto-Germanic *kattuz.

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. An animal of the family Felidae:
    • 2011, Karl Kruszelnicki, Brain Food, →ISBN, page 53:
      Mammals need two genes to make the taste receptor for sugar. Studies in various cats (tigers, cheetahs and domestic cats) showed that one of these genes has mutated and no longer works.
    Synonym: felid
    1. A domesticated subspecies (Felis silvestris catus) of feline animal, commonly kept as a house pet. [from 8thc.]
      • 1892, Walter Besant, chapter II, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], OCLC 16832619:
        At twilight in the summer there is never anybody to fear—man, woman, or cat—in the chambers and at that hour the mice come out. They do not eat parchment or foolscap or red tape, but they eat the luncheon crumbs.
      Synonyms: puss, pussy, malkin, kitty, pussy-cat, grimalkin; see also Thesaurus:cat
    2. Any similar animal of the family Felidae, which includes lions, tigers, bobcats, etc.
      • 1977, Peter Hathaway Capstick, Death in the Long Grass: A Big Game Hunter's Adventures in the African Bush, St. Martin's Press, page 44:
        I grabbed it and ran over to the lion from behind, the cat still chewing thoughtfully on Silent's arm.
      • 1985 January, George Laycock, "Our American Lion", in Boy Scouts of America, Boys' Life, 28.
        If you should someday round a corner on the hiking trail and come face to face with a mountain lion, you would probably never forget the mighty cat.
      • 2014, Dale Mayer, Rare Find. A Psychic Visions Novel, Valley Publishing:
        She felt privileged to be here, living the experience inside the majestic cat [i.e. a tiger]; privileged to be part of their bond, even for only a few hours.
  2. A person:
    1. (offensive) A spiteful or angry woman. [from early 13thc.]
      • 1835 September, anonymous, "The Pigs", in The New-England Magazine, Vol. 9, 156.
        But, ere one rapid moon its tale has told, / He finds his prize — a cat — a slut — a scold.
      Synonym: bitch
    2. An enthusiast or player of jazz.
      • 2008, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (lyrics and music), “Hold on to Yourself”:
        I turn on the radio / There's some cat on the saxophone / Laying down a litany of excuses
    3. (slang) A person (usually male).
      • 1972, “Starman”, in The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, performed by David Bowie:
        Didn't know what time it was the lights were low / I leaned back on my radio / Some cat was layin' down some rock'n'roll 'lotta soul, he said
      • 1973 December, "Books Noted", discussing A Dialogue (by James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni), in Black World, Johnson Publishing Company, 77.
        BALDWIN: That's what we were talking about before. And by the way, you did not have to tell me that you think your father is a groovy cat; I knew that.
      • 1998, “Fiend”, in Respect, performed by Shaquille O'Neal:
        What fags are true I know what Mack's might do
        I'm quite familiar with cats like you
        Provoke to get me give me a good reason to smoke me
        Try to break me but never wrote me)
      • 2006, Masta Ace (lyrics), “Sick of it all”, in Pariah:
        I am sick of rappers claiming they hot when they really not
        I am sick of rappers bragging about shit they ain’t really got
        These cats stay rapping about cars they don’t own
        I am sick of rappers bragging about models they don’t bone.[…]
        And I am sick of all these cats with no talent
        That never lived in the hood but yet their lyrics be so violent.
      Synonyms: bloke, chap, cove, dude, fellow, fella, guy
    4. (slang) A prostitute. [from at least early 15thc.]
      • 1999, Carl P. Eby, Hemingway's Fetishism. Psychoanalysis and the Mirror of Manhood, State University of New York Press, page 124:
        "Tell me. Willie said there was a cat in love with you. That isn't true, is it?" "Yes. It's true," Hudson corrects her, letting her think that by "cat" he means prostitute.
  3. (nautical) A strong tackle used to hoist an anchor to the cathead of a ship.
    • 2009, Olof A. Eriksen, Constitution - All Sails Up and Flying, Outskirts Press, page 134:
      Overhaul down & hook the cat, haul taut. Walk away the cat. When up, pass the cat head stopper. Hook the fish in & fish the anchor.
  4. (chiefly nautical) Short form of cat-o'-nine-tails.
    • 1839, Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, testimony by Henry L. Pinckney (Assembly No. 335), page 44:
      [] he whipped a black man for disobedience of his orders fifty lashes; and again whipped him with a cat, which he wound with wire, about the same number of stripes; [] he used this cat on one other man, and then destroyed the cat wound with wire.
  5. (archaic) A sturdy merchant sailing vessel (now only in "catboat").
  6. (archaic, uncountable) The game of "trap and ball" (also called "cat and dog").
    1. The trap of the game of "trap and ball".
  7. (archaic) The pointed piece of wood that is struck in the game of tipcat.
  8. (slang, vulgar, African American Vernacular English) A vagina, a vulva; the female external genitalia.
    • 1969, Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life, Holloway House Publishing:
      "What the hell, so this broad's got a prematurely-gray cat."
    • 2005, Carolyn Chambers Sanders, Sins & Secrets, Hachette Digital:
      As she came up, she tried to put her cat in his face for some licking.
    • 2007, Franklin White, Money for Good, Simon and Schuster, page 64:
      I had a notion to walk over to her, rip her apron off, sling her housecoat open and put my finger inside her cat to see if she was wet or freshly fucked because the dream I had earlier was beginning to really annoy me.
  9. A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.) with six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position it is placed.
  10. (historical) A wheeled shelter, used in the Middle Ages as a siege weapon to allow assailants to approach enemy defences.
    Synonyms: tortoise, Welsh cat
    • 2000, Stephen O'Shea, The Perfect Heresy, Profile Books, page 97:
      From behind the narrow slits in the walls of Castellar, crossbowmen and archers took aim at the juddering cat as it came closer.
Synonyms

See also Thesaurus:cat, Thesaurus:man.

The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}} to add them to the appropriate sense(s).
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Terms derived from cat in the above senses
Translations

Verb

cat (third-person singular simple present cats, present participle catting, simple past and past participle catted)

  1. (nautical, transitive) To hoist (the anchor) by its ring so that it hangs at the cathead.
    • 1922, Francis Lynde, Pirates' Hope, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, page 226:
      The anchors were catted at the bows of the yacht …
  2. (nautical, transitive) To flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
  3. (slang) To vomit something.
  4. To go wandering at night.
    • 1998, Mary Spencer, Lady's Wager, page 324:
      "He doesn't realize that I know," Lord Callan said, "but it's been pretty obvious that most of his catting about London's darker alleys has been a search for his origins.
    • 2010, Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land, page 18:
      This was going to be my first try at catting out. I went looking for somebody to cat with me.
    • 2012, Valerie Hansen, Wages of Sin:
      My own dear wife could have tended to his needs if she hadn't been out catting.
  5. To gossip in a catty manner.
    • 1932, Hugh Brooke, Man Made Angry, page 134:
      Men from young to middleaged, with matt faces, vivacious and brightly dressed, catted together in gay groups.
    • 1996, Alistair Boyle, The Unlucky Seven:
      They smiled, touched, rolled their eyes and raised their eyebrows, as they relived the audition and catted about some of their competition.
    • 2016, Melanie Benjamin, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, page 293:
      In the story, Lady Ina gossiped and catted about a parade of the rich and famous—Jackie Kennedy looking like an exaggerated version of herself, Princess Margaret so boring she made people fall asleep, Gloria Vanderbilt so ditzy she didn't recognize her first husband.
Translations

See also

Etymology 2

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. Abbreviation of catamaran.

Etymology 3

Abbreviation of catenate.

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. (computing) A program and command in Unix that reads one or more files and directs their content to the standard output.

Verb

cat (third-person singular simple present cats, present participle catting, simple past and past participle catted)

  1. (computing, transitive) To apply the cat command to (one or more files).
  2. (computing, slang) To dump large amounts of data on (an unprepared target) usually with no intention of browsing it carefully.

Etymology 4

Possibly a shortened form of catastrophic.

Adjective

cat (not comparable)

  1. (Ireland, informal) Terrible, disastrous.
    The weather was cat, so they returned home early.
Usage notes

This usage is common in speech but rarely appears in writing.

Etymology 5

Shortened from methcathinone.

Noun

cat (uncountable)

  1. (slang) A street name of the drug methcathinone.

Etymology 6

Shortened from catapult.

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. (military, naval) A catapult.
    a carrier's bow cats

Etymology 7

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. Abbreviation of category.

Etymology 8

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. Abbreviation of catfish.
    • 1913, Willa Cather, chapter 2, in O Pioneers!:
      She missed the fish diet of her own country, and twice every summer she sent the boys to the river, twenty miles to the southward, to fish for channel cat.
    • 1916, M. Shults, "Fishing for Yellow Cat in the Brazos", in Field and Stream, vol. 21, 478.
      Fishing for cat is probably, up to a certain stage, the least exciting of all similar sports.

Etymology 9

Abbreviation of caterpillar.

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. (slang) Any of a variety of earth-moving machines. (from their manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.)
  2. A caterpillar drive vehicle (a ground vehicle which uses caterpillar tracks), especially tractors, trucks, minibuses, and snow groomers.

References

  1. ^ Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. "cat", [html], retrieved on 29 September 2009: [1].
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ian Sample, DNA research identifies homeland of the domestic cat, in The Guardian (29 June 2007)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Claudio Ottoni, Wim Van Neer, Eva-Maria Geigl, et al, The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world, in Nature: Ecology & Evolution, volume 1 (19 June 2017) (doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0139); summarized e.g. by PLOS
  4. ^ Dennis C. Turner, ‎Patrick Bateson, The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour (→ISBN), page 93
  5. ^ Pictet, Adolphe (1859) Les origines indo-européennes, ou Les Aryas primitifs: essai de paléontologie linguistique, volume I, Paris: J. Cherbuliez, page 381
  6. ^ Otto Keller, Die antike Tierwelt, vol. 1: Säugetiere (Leipzig, 1909), 75; Walther von Wartburg, ed. Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, vol. 2 (Basel: R. G. Zbinden, 1922–1967), 520.
  7. 7.0 7.1 John Huehnergard, “Qitta: Arabic Cats”, in Classical Arabic Humanities in Their Own Terms, ed. Beatrice Gruendler (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 407–18.
  8. ^ Jean-Paul Savignac, Dictionnaire français-gaulois, s.v. "chat" (Paris: Errance, 2004), 82.
  9. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2013), “*kattōn-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN

Anagrams


Indonesian

Etymology

From Malay cat, from Min Nan (chhat), from Middle Chinese (tsit).

Noun

cat (plural, first-person possessive catku, second-person possessive catmu, third-person possessive catnya)

  1. paint (substance)

Irish

Cat

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Old Irish catt, from Latin cattus.

Pronunciation

Noun

cat m (genitive singular cait, nominative plural cait)

  1. cat (domestic feline; member of the Felidae)

Declension

Derived terms

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
cat chat gcat
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading


Malay

cat

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Min Nan (chhat), from Middle Chinese (tsit).

Pronunciation

Noun

cat (Jawi spelling چت)

  1. paint (substance)

Middle English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Old English catt, catte; this is in turn from Proto-Germanic *kattuz.

Pronunciation

Noun

cat (plural cats)

  1. cat (feline)

Descendants

  • English: cat
  • Scots: cat

Norman

Etymology

From Old Northern French cat (variant of Old French chat) from Late Latin cattus.

Pronunciation

Noun

cat m (plural cats, feminine catte)

  1. cat
    • c. 1830, George Métivier, ‘Lamentations de Damaris’:
      Où'est donc qu'j'iron, mé et mes puches / Ma catte, et l'reste de l'écu?
    • 2006, Peggy Collenette, ‘D'la gâche de Guernési’, P'tites Lures Guernésiaises, Cromwell Press 2006, page 20:
      Ils d'visirent pour enne haeure, mais la Louise était pas chagrinaïe au tour sa pâte, pasqué a savait que le cat était à gardaïr la pâte caoude. (They talked for an hour, but Louise was not worried about her dough, because she knew that the cat was keeping the dough warm.)
  2. (Jersey) common dab (Limanda limanda)

Derived terms


Old French

Noun

cat m (oblique plural caz or catz, nominative singular caz or catz, nominative plural cat)

  1. (Picardy, Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of chat

Romanian

Etymology

Borrowed from Turkish kat.

Pronunciation

Noun

cat n (plural caturi)

  1. floor (storey)

Declension


Scottish Gaelic

Etymology

From Old Irish catt, from Latin cattus.

Pronunciation

Noun

cat m (genitive singular cait, plural cait)

  1. cat (animal)

Declension


Derived terms

Mutation

Scottish Gaelic mutation
Radical Lenition
cat chat
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.