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
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

Definition of cat (Entry 3 of 5)

1 catalog
2 catalyst
\ ˈkat How to pronounce Cat (audio) \

Definition of Cat (Entry 4 of 5)

used for a Caterpillar tractor

Definition of CAT (Entry 5 of 5)

1 clean-air turbulence
2 computerized axial tomography

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for cat

Synonyms: Noun

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 Both gazelle and baboons face threats from big cats and other predators -- but the baboons, who eat smaller animals, plants and agricultural crops, are also treated as pests by the local human population. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Baboon mauls gazelle in Kenya nature reserve, shocking photos show," 16 May 2020 Leaning against an oak with the Spanish moss swaying in the sun, this hunter is playing cat-and-mouse with the old ghost of Osceola. Drew Palmer, Outdoor Life, "50 Hunter Stereotypes from Every State," 15 May 2020 Data in cats and primates have pointed to GS-441524’s safety. Victoria C. Yan, STAT, "Gilead should ditch remdesivir and focus on its simpler and safer ancestor," 14 May 2020 WhatsApp Wars In Mumbai’s northern suburb of Ghatkoper, R-City mall, one of the city’s biggest, is now a playground for cats, and the nearby metro construction work has stopped. Muneeza Naqvi, Bloomberg.com, "India’s Chaotic Cities Turn Eerily Silent as Virus Fears Grow," 10 May 2020 This isn’t the first animal to fall prey to the pandemic: A few house cats and even a tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo have all tested positive for the novel coronavirus, along with a number of dogs and cats in other countries. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "The US just had its deadliest day of the pandemic yet. June could be worse.," 4 May 2020 Those of us working in small spaces can lock in some easy stretches right from our chairs by doing neck rolls, reaching our arms overhead and interlacing our fingers, or doing some cat and cow stretches on all fours. Christine Burroni, Travel + Leisure, "We Asked a Chiropractor for Tips on Maintaining Good Posture While Working From Home," 3 May 2020 Other coronaviruses cause similar symptoms in cattle, dogs and cats, but the reasons for tissue preference — which determines which organs are most susceptible — aren’t yet clear. Quanta Magazine, "What Other Coronaviruses Tell Us About SARS-CoV-2," 29 Apr. 2020 There are thin narrative strands to tie the eight episodes together, some repeating motifs — cats pilot ships and spaceships — and a sort of thematic arc to the series. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Adventure Time’ meets a metaphyiscal podcast in Netflix’s extraordinary new ’toon," 20 Apr. 2020 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

Learn More about cat

Time Traveler for cat

Time Traveler

The first known use of cat was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for cat

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cat. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!