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From pussy (feline) +‎ foot; because of the light and careful tread of cats.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpʊs.iˌfʊt/
  • (file)


pussyfoot (third-person singular simple present pussyfoots, present participle pussyfooting, simple past and past participle pussyfooted)

  1. (intransitive) To move silently, stealthily, or furtively.
  2. (intransitive) To act timidly or cautiously.
    • 2004, Jeph Jacques, Fripp and Eno
      — So are you going to practice what you’re preaching and stop pussyfooting around with Faye?
      — Hey, I’m 0 for 1 when it comes to practicing what I preach. These feet stay pussied for the time being.
  3. (intransitive) To use euphemistic language or circumlocution.
    • 1946, Tennessee Williams, The Unsatisfactory Supper
      "Then you talk up! And plain! What's there to be so pussyfooting about?"


See also[edit]