cat's-paw

noun
\ˈkats-ˌpȯ \
plural cat's-paws

Definition of cat's-paw 

1 : a light air that ruffles the surface of the water in irregular patches during a calm

2 [ from the fable of the monkey that used a cat's paw to draw chestnuts from the fire ] : one used by another as a tool : dupe the … government became the cat's-paw for foreign powers— D. J. Boorstin

3 : a hitch knot formed with two eyes for attaching a line to a hook — see knot illustration

Synonyms for cat's-paw

Synonyms

instrument, lay figure, pawn, puppet, tool

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First Known Use of cat's-paw

circa 1769, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of cat's-paw was circa 1769

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a knickknack or trinket

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