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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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


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.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The firelight shadows were dancing over the walls; the cats were purring; and a huge bowl of hothouse chrysanthemums, sent to Phil by one of the victims, shone through the golden gloom like creamy moons.
`I didn't know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn't know that cats COULD grin.'
I give you good place in my hotel, and you spend your time flinging cats. I will 'ave no more of you.
"Open the door of the cats' room, Peter; and bring me my harp.
There was a plaintive little mew--a long quiver--and Paddy's friendly soul had fared forth to wherever it is that good cats go.
He strung his bow with tendons from the buck upon which he had dined his first evening upon the new shore, and though he would have preferred the gut of Sheeta for the purpose, he was content to wait until opportunity permitted him to kill one of the great cats.
But the dogs and the cats and the children still ran up and followed him through the town --the same as they had done when he was rich.
A cat had made acquaintance with a mouse, and had spoken so much of the great love and friendship she felt for her, that at last the Mouse consented to live in the same house with her, and to go shares in the housekeeping.
The cat was made of glass, so clear and transparent that you could see through it as easily as through a window.
Instantly the head portrayed that the cat had stiffened, crouched, and frozen.
Fire Eater gives Pinocchio five gold pieces for his father, Geppetto; but the Marionette meets a Fox and a Cat and follows them
They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of the road and making a most rueful face.