cat and mouse


Definition of cat and mouse

: behavior like that of a cat with a mouse: such as
a : the act of toying with or tormenting something before destroying it
b : a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes played a game of cat and mouse with the police broadly : an evasive action

Examples of cat and mouse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

So future tanks will become more difficult for enemies to detect, playing a cat and mouse game with their opponents by reducing their acoustic, radar, and infrared signatures. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Stealth Tanks Are Coming," 7 Aug. 2018 Created by Adam Brooks and Paul Adelstein, the drama starring Inbar Lavi followed a persona-shifting con artist and her three most recent victims, who pursue her in a game of cat and mouse. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Imposters' Canceled as Bravo Refines Its Scripted Approach," 1 June 2018 But Ream also has a history of mind games, toying with investigators in a game of cat and mouse. Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press, "Suspected serial killer wants an apology from Warren police," 21 May 2018 The New York Police Department analyst and the leader of a fanatical Islamist cell played a dangerous game of cat and mouse for years. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "NYPD Analyst Hunted al Qaeda Recruiter for Years. Now They’re a Team.," 27 Apr. 2018 While spring temperatures continue to play cat and mouse with much of the country, the weather is indeed warming, and with the warmer weather comes snow melt. Susan B. Barnes, USA TODAY, "Spectacular waterfalls within the USA," 22 Apr. 2018 When this wild bunch descends upon the mansion, Taylor capably ratchets up the tension as Brea and John land in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the criminals. Gary Goldstein,, "Paula Patton stars in the surprisingly effective thriller 'Traffik'," 20 Apr. 2018 Eve and Villanelle begin a game of cat and mouse in which the two increasingly become obsessed with one another. Time, "Sandra Oh on Stereotypes, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and Her First Lead Role on 'Killing Eve'," 9 Apr. 2018 Which is how a transient hurler would come to intrude upon this Manhattan lawyer’s life, telephoning tauntingly from the French Riviera in a yearslong game of cat and mouse. Dan Greene,, "Flight of the Sole Man," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cat and mouse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cat and mouse

1675, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cat and mouse

Dictionary Entries near cat and mouse


cat and clay


cat and mouse




Statistics for cat and mouse

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cat and mouse

The first known use of cat and mouse was in 1675

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cat and mouse

cat and mouse


English Language Learners Definition of cat and mouse

: behavior that is like the way a cat chases a mouse or plays with a mouse before killing it

More from Merriam-Webster on cat and mouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cat and mouse

Comments on cat and mouse

What made you want to look up cat and mouse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!