cat: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (kat), [key]
— n., v., cat•ted, cat•ting.
  1. a small domesticated carnivore, Felis domestica or F. catus, bred in a number of varieties.
  2. any of several carnivores of the family Felidae, as the lion, tiger, leopard or jaguar, etc.
    1. a person, esp. a man.
    2. a devotee of jazz.
  3. a woman given to spiteful or malicious gossip.
  4. the fur of the domestic cat.
  5. a cat-o'-nine-tails.
    1. Chiefly Brit.the tapering piece of wood used in the game of tipcat.
    2. Chiefly Brit.the game itself.
    3. Seefour old cat, one old cat, three old cat, two old cat.
  6. a catboat.
  7. a catamaran.
  8. a catfish.
  9. a tackle used in hoisting an anchor to the cathead.
  10. 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.
  11. catapult (def. 2).
  12. (in medieval warfare) a movable shelter for providing protection when approaching a fortification.
  13. to attempt something formidable or dangerous.
  14. to divulge a secret, esp. inadvertently or carelessly: He let the cat out of the bag, and the surprise party wasn't a surprise after all.
  1. to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
  2. to hoist (an anchor) and secure to a cathead.
  1. to vomit.
    1. to spend one's time aimlessly or idly.
    2. to seek sexual activity indiscriminately; tomcat.


Pronunciation: (kat), [key]
— n. Informal.
  1. a Caterpillar tractor or other vehicle with a caterpillar tread.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. clear-air turbulence.
  2. computerized axial tomography. Cf. CAT scanner.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. catalog; catalogue.
  2. catechism.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also:
  • cat (Thesaurus)