cat-o'-nine-tails

noun
\ ˌka-tə-ˈnīn-ˌtālz How to pronounce cat-o'-nine-tails (audio) \
plural cat-o'-nine-tails

Definition of cat-o'-nine-tails

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

First Known Use of cat-o'-nine-tails

1665, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cat-o'-nine-tails

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

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The first known use of cat-o'-nine-tails was in 1665

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Dictionary Entries Near cat-o'-nine-tails

Cato

cat-o'-nine-tails

catocala

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Cite this Entry

“Cat-o'-nine-tails.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cat-o%27-nine-tails. Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cat-o'-nine-tails

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