cat's-paw

(redirected from Cat's paw)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
click for a larger image
cat's-paw

cat's-paw

also cats·paw (kăts′pô′)
n. pl. cat's-paws also cats·paws
1. A person used by another as a dupe or tool.
2. A light breeze that ruffles small areas of a water surface.
3. Nautical A knot made by twisting a section of rope to form two adjacent eyes through which a hook is passed, used in hoisting.

[From a fable about a monkey that used a cat's paw to pull chestnuts out of a fire.]

cat's-paw

n
1. a person used by another as a tool; dupe
2. (Knots) nautical a hitch in the form of two loops, or eyes, in the bight of a line, used for attaching it to a hook
3. (Physical Geography) a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind
[(sense 1) C18: so called from the tale of the monkey who used a cat's paw to draw chestnuts out of a fire]

cat's′-paw`

or cats′paw`,



n.
1. a person who is exploited by another; tool.
2. a light breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area.
3. a hitch made in the bight of a rope to hold the hook of a tackle.
[1650–60; definition 1 so called in allusion to the story of the monkey that used a cat's paw to pull chestnuts from the fire]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cat's-paw - a person used by another to gain an end
assistant, helper, help, supporter - a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose; "my invaluable assistant"; "they hired additional help to finish the work"
2.cat's-paw - a hitch in the middle of rope that has two eyes into which tackle can be hooked
hitch - a knot that can be undone by pulling against the strain that holds it; a temporary knot

cat's-paw

also catspaw
noun
A person used or controlled by others:
Translations

cat's-paw

[ˈkætspɔː] N (fig) → instrumento m
References in classic literature ?
Cocky had darted to the side, but, even as he darted, and as the cat landed on the sill, the cat's paw flashed out sidewise and Cocky leaped straight up, beating the air with his wings so little used to flying.
His paw was against every cat, and every cat's paw against him.
Both Lady Ruth and her husband seem to think it part of the game to try and make a cat's paw of you.
Fine flat sand, never a cat's paw, trees all around of it, and flowers a-blowing like a garding on that old ship.
Glenarm's hand flew out with the stealthy rapidity of a cat's paw, to seize and destroy it.
The cat's paw which was digging into my back was exceptionally pleasant and I could see my co-driver looking at me as I sighed in delight.
A CAT'S paw was amputated after getting snared in an illegal trap.
Some maneki-neko designed for Western markets have the cat's paw facing backward.
Observations have revealed that a small portion of the Cat's Paw Nebula (also known as NGC 6334) is forming stars at a much faster rate than expected - a phenomenon that has made the region much brighter than it was before.
Most of the terrorist attempts of this organization, which is serving as a cat's paw at the hands of those who have designs on Syria and Iraq, are actually prevented thanks to the support of our people and efforts of our security and intelligence organizations.
I am suggesting that he was a Congress bug, a cat's paw.
I think cats and mice have good night vision, but a searchlight seemed a good idea at the time and there was no point arguing so I upturned the shoe only for the mouse to run under the chest of drawers through a gap so tiny the cat's paw couldn't even reach through.