Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. A small domesticated carnivorous mammal (Felis catus), kept as a pet and as catcher of vermin, and existing in a variety of breeds.
b. Any of various other carnivorous mammals of the family Felidae, including the lion, tiger, leopard, and lynx.
2. Informal A woman who is regarded as spiteful.
3. Slang
a. A person, especially a man.
b. A player or devotee of jazz music.
4. A cat-o'-nine-tails.
5. A catfish.
6. Nautical
a. A cathead.
b. A device for raising an anchor to the cathead.
c. A catboat.
d. A catamaran.
v. cat·ted, cat·ting, cats Nautical
To hoist an anchor to (the cathead).
v.intr. Slang
To look for sexual partners; have an affair or affairs: "catting around with every lady in sight" (Gore Vidal).
let the cat out of the bag
To let a secret be known.

[Middle English, from Old English catt, from Germanic *kattuz; akin to Late Latin cattus and Old Church Slavonic kotŭka, all ultimately of unknown origin. Sense 6d, short for catamaran.]


1. clear-air turbulence
2. computerized axial tomography


n acronym for
(Education) credit accumulation transfer scheme: a scheme enabling school-leavers and others to acquire transferable certificates for relevant work experience and study towards a recognized qualification


See also animals.

an abnormal love of cats.
a lover of cats. Also called felinophile, philofelist, philogalist.
an abnormal fear of cats. Also called felinophobia.
an excessive fondness for cats.
an abnormal fear of cats.
1. a cat, particularly an old female cat.
2. a bad-tempered old woman.
British dialect, the young of an animal, especially a kitten or young cat.
British dialect, a cat or hare. Also spelled mawkin.
References in classic literature ?
Beth, if you don't keep these horrid cats down cellar I'll have them drowned," exclaimed Meg angrily as she tried to get rid of the kitten which had scrambled up her back and stuck like a burr just out of reach.
White cats were sunning themselves among yellow pumpkins on the porch steps.
At such times, under an abated sun; afloat all day upon smooth, slow heaving swells; seated in his boat, light as a birch canoe; and so sociably mixing with the soft waves themselves, that like hearth-stone cats they purr against the gunwale; these are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang.
Our master and mistress were respected and beloved by all who knew them; they were good and kind to everybody and everything; not only men and women, but horses and donkeys, dogs and cats, cattle and birds; there was no oppressed or ill-used creature that had not a friend in them, and their servants took the same tone.
And hazardous, too; for in attempting a disenchantment without the true key, you are liable to err, and turn your hogs into dogs, and the dogs into cats, the cats into rats, and so on, and end by reducing your materials to nothing finally, or to an odorless gas which you can't follow -- which, of course, amounts to the same thing.
Look at that pile of cats in your chair, and you sitting on a candle-box, just as patient; it's because they're her cats.
Ignorant people think it's the NOISE which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use.
Dog my cats if it ain't all I kin do to tell t' other fum which, let alone his pappy.
we shall sit and gape at one another as dull as two cats.
I continued, turning to an obscure cushion full of something like cats.
He thought that the slow movements might mean that he was preparing to pounce, as cats do.
It isn't that there ain't some Cats that would be well enough pleased if she did, but they sha'n't be pleased.