cat

noun, often attributive
\ ˈkat How to pronounce cat (audio) \

Definition of cat

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : a carnivorous mammal (Felis catus) long domesticated as a pet and for catching rats and mice
b : any of a family (Felidae) of carnivorous usually solitary and nocturnal mammals (such as the domestic cat, lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, cougar, wildcat, lynx, and cheetah)
2a : guy some young … cat asked me to go drinking with him— Jack Kerouac
b : a player or devotee of jazz
3 : a strong tackle used to hoist an anchor to the cathead of a ship
4a : catboat
b : catamaran
7 : a malicious woman especially : one given to making catty remarks about other women

cat

verb
catted; catting

Definition of cat (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

usually vulgar : to search for a sexual mate often used with around

transitive verb

: to bring (an anchor) up to the cathead

cat

abbreviation (1)

Definition of cat (Entry 3 of 5)

1 catalog
2 catalyst

Cat

trademark
\ ˈkat How to pronounce Cat (audio) \

Definition of Cat (Entry 4 of 5)

used for a Caterpillar tractor

CAT

abbreviation (2)

Definition of CAT (Entry 5 of 5)

1 clean-air turbulence
2 computerized axial tomography

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for cat

Synonyms: Noun

feline, house cat, kitty, moggy (also moggie) [British], puss, pussy, pussycat

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of cat in a Sentence

Noun

I have two dogs and a cat. the family's cat did an exemplary job of keeping the house and yard free of all rodents

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Male lions are some of the only cats to have manes, but until this century no one knew why. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "Ten Things We’ve Learned About Lions Since Disney’s Original ‘The Lion King’," 19 July 2019 The heat doesn't bother some of the big cats — like lions, jaguars, and cheetahs — too much. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "There is a heat wave coming, and here's how Milwaukee's zoo animals are getting ready for it," 18 July 2019 Hunting: Thousands of the big cats were killed between 1907 and 1963, when bounties were offered for shooting them. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Fearsome mountain lions high-tail it out of there when they hear human voices," 17 July 2019 The timing was right for the city, too, which had lost some of the glamour of its early-1960s heyday, when the crooning of cool cats such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin packed the lounges. The Economist, "When the King saved Vegas," 11 July 2019 Channel your inner Lady Gaga at the Met Gala with a pair of dramatic, embellished cat-eye shades. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Let Lady Gaga, Nick Jonas and more stars inspire your next sunglasses purchase," 9 July 2019 So Swift’s nod to her feline fixation in this video is revealed on her watch, where the face has an illustration of a cat. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Your Guide to the References in Taylor Swift's 'You Need to Calm Down' Music Video," 17 June 2019 Williams, in her bubblegum pink hair, wore Kurt Cobain-style sunglasses on the trip, while Turner kept it casual in a green T-shirt and cat-eye shades. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Reunited for a Girls' Trip and We Have FOMO," 11 June 2019 Some of the cat’s most comically absurd escapades are entirely consistent with the look-and-say method, minus the terrible literalness that Hersey decried. I-huei Go, The New Yorker, "How Dr. Seuss Changed Education in America," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cat knew how to draw out the best in his son athletically and emotionally. Joseph Goodman, AL.com, "On Willie Mays, his father and the final childhood summer of the Say Hey Kid," 17 June 2017 Cat Mountain Tr., 1400 block: Theft of property ($100-$750). Mitch Mitchell, star-telegram.com, "Police report: Suspect in Denton murder back in Texas," 16 June 2017 Cat prowled beneath the shelf, but had no way to reach my little fish. Elisabeth Egan, chicagotribune.com, "Algren Award finalist: "Water like air" by Rebecca Wurtz," 10 June 2017 Q. How worried should cat owners be about the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, especially with babies in the house? Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "How Worried Should Cat Owners Be About Toxoplasmosis?," 8 June 2017 Go to Cat Tuong in Kastanienallee for wow-factor vegan/vegetarian Vietnamese dishes— Alexandra Pereira, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Enjoy Berlin's Nightlife Like a Local," 8 May 2017 Today, the government is trying hard to eliminate cats from the landscape and is even involved in the invention of new cat poisons and gory things, which are upsetting to cat lovers. Martin Mejia, National Geographic, "How Cats Clawed Their Way Into Our Hearts," 13 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cat.' 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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1681, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for cat

Noun

Middle English, from Old English catt, probably from Late Latin cattus, catta cat

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cat

cat

noun
\ ˈkat How to pronounce cat (audio) \

Kids Definition of cat

1 : a common furry meat-eating animal kept as a pet or for catching mice and rats
2 : any of a family of mammals (as the lion, tiger, and leopard) to which the domestic cat belongs

cat

noun, often attributive
\ ˈkat How to pronounce cat (audio) \

Medical Definition of cat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a carnivorous mammal (Felis catus) long domesticated and kept as a pet or for catching rats and mice
2 : any of a family (Felidae) of mammals including the domestic cat, lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, cougar, wildcat, lynx, and cheetah

Medical Definition of CAT (Entry 2 of 2)

computed axial tomography; computerized axial tomography

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cat

Spanish Central: Translation of cat

Nglish: Translation of cat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cat for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cat

Comments on cat

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

WORD OF THE DAY

having no luck

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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