cat's-paw

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n cat's-paw a hitch in the middle of rope that has two eyes into which tackle can be hooked
    • n cat's-paw a person used by another to gain an end
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cat's-paw A dupe; a tool; one who, or that which, is used by another as an instrument to a accomplish his purposes.
    • Cat's-paw (Naut) A light transitory air which ruffles the surface of the water during a calm, or the ripples made by such a puff of air.
    • Cat's-paw (Naut) A particular hitch or turn in the bight of a rope, into which a tackle may be hooked.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Cat's-paw (naut.) a light breeze: the dupe or tool of another—from the fable of the monkey who used the paws of the cat to draw the roasting chestnuts out of the fire
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cat; found also in Celt., Slav., Ar., Finn, &c.

Usage

In literature:

The moment the cat's paw touched him he had relaxed every muscle and feigned death.
""Wee Tim'rous Beasties"" by Douglas English
If anything, he was more eager than I was to find out who was using his administration as a cat's-paw.
"The Misplaced Battleship" by Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
A little clammy cat's-paw.
"The Best Short Stories of 1919" by Various
What a cat's paw he made of me!
"Under the Rose" by Frederic Stewart Isham
But I'll not play cat's paw for you.
"Still Jim" by Honoré Willsie Morrow
But closest of all Glover watched the preparations for the blast on the Cat's Paw.
"The Daughter of a Magnate" by Frank H. Spearman
Sharp cat's-paws o' wind hot as fire sometimes.
"Hunting the Skipper" by George Manville Fenn
I, the unsuspecting messenger, the loyal, eager dupe, was made the cat's-paw.
"In the Orbit of Saturn" by Roman Frederick Starzl
You will like the one of the long fierce wave like a white cat's paw.
"The Lightning Conductor Discovers America" by C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson
True, an atheist attempted to throw in a firebrand by making a cat's paw of the Jew, but wholly failed, not exciting a single remark in reply.
"The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences" by Hosea Quinby
Smoke's face lay level with his own; and the cat had climbed up with its front paws upon his chest.
"Lords of the Housetops" by Various
The man who was Gannette's cat's-paw in the Fall River franchise steal!
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
I hope you haven't been only making me a cat's-paw of?
"Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1." by Samuel Warren
You thought you could make a cat's-paw of me, did you?
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
WOW: A STORY OF A CAT'S PAW.
"Dog Stories from the "Spectator"" by Various
But save for the yelping puppy in the bow, there was no movement in the canoe, as it slid, the cat's-paw of the current.
"The Whelps of the Wolf" by George Marsh
I know my lacks as well as anybody; but bein' a spy and a cat's-paw a'n't one of 'em.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 95, September 1865" by Various
Raima jumped from the cockpit and Kirk followed to hear the soft thud of the cat's four paws landing beside him.
"Twelve Times Zero" by Howard Carleton Browne
You can use her as a cat's-paw.
"To Lhassa at Last" by Powell Millington
I don't let myself be made a cat's paw of.
"Klytia" by George Taylor
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In poetry:

Our Grandma of England will find a cat's-paw
She never will make of our daughter-in-law;
Though she has given heirs to the Brandenburg line,
What then? I'm still king by a right that's divine.
"William of Prussia: The Aggressor" by Janet Hamilton

In news:

Forever Paws was just what I needed to confirm my thoughts that Clio's little cat spirit is waiting for me.
Employment – 'Cat's paw' liability is issue in disparate treatment claim.
Rho Ophiuchi region, the Turtle Nebula, and the Cat's Paw Nebula.
In Estero, it's Paw-radise for dogs and cats with bakery, grooming.
Jerry Parker and Bailey Newsom of Four Paws Rescue and Shelter were on hand at Monday's Borough Council meeting to explain their plan to catch, spay or neuter, and release feral cats .
" The gray hued, white pawed kitten was the star of a YouTube video that's racked up more than 66 million views since 2009 and even made it to Animal Planet's video countdown "America's Cutest Cat 2010.".
DEAR PAW'S CORNER: My cat "Frank" has been classified as obese by the veterinarian.
New to Mayhew's Cats Paw line is a 48-piece bit driver set containing 33 Slotted, Phillips, Pozi, Star and Hex bits made of S-2 steel, along with 14 Chrome Vanadium power nut setters.
The staff at PAWS said there's an unusually high number of adoptable cats and dogs this time of year at their shelters and hope to find the animals caring homes.
Billie Insley joined his brother at the Cat's Paw Repair Shop in 1954.
DEAR PAW'S CORNER: I recently adopted a stray cat.
DEAR PAW'S CORNER: A number of cats in our area disappeared this spring and summer, and I noticed the rabbits that used to plague our garden don't come as frequently.
Three-plus hours of cat-and-mouse games, catty remarks, tomcatting and cat's paws will be the catnip for the opening-night audience for the new Broadway production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf .
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