Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

cat–o'–nine–tails

play
noun \ˌka-tə-ˈnīn-ˌtālz\

Definition of cat–o'–nine–tails

plural

cat–o'–nine–tails

  1. :  a whip made of usually nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle



Origin and Etymology of cat–o'–nine–tails

from the resemblance of its scars to the scratches of a cat


First Known Use: 1665


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cat–o'–nine–tails? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a talk on a religious or moral theme

Get Word of the Day daily email!