cat's-paw

noun \ ˈkats-ˌpȯ \

Definition of cat's-paw

plural cat's-paws
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

cat's-paw was our Word of the Day on 10/04/2013. Hear the podcast!

First Known Use of cat's-paw

circa 1769

cat's-paw Synonyms

Synonyms
cat's-paw, instrument, lay figure, puppet, tool
Related Words
chump, dupe, foil, gull, sucker, victim; minion, stooge; lap dog, yes-man


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WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

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