like the cat that ate/got/swallowed the canary

Definition of like the cat that ate/got/swallowed the canary


  1. —used to say that someone looks very proud or satisfied about something he or she has done After pointing out his teacher's mistake, he smiled like the cat that ate the canary.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  a carnivorous mammal (Felis catus) long domesticated as a pet and for catching rats and mice

    :  any of a family (Felidae) of carnivorous usually solitary and nocturnal mammals (as the domestic cat, lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, cougar, wildcat, lynx, and cheetah)

    :  a malicious woman

  1. : catalog

    : catalyst

  1. : past tense ofeat

  1. : past tense and past participle ofget

swallowplay swallowed
  1. :  any of numerous small widely distributed oscine birds (family Hirundinidae, the swallow family) that have a short bill, long pointed wings, and often a deeply forked tail and that feed on insects caught on the wing

    :  any of several birds that superficially resemble swallows

  1. :  to take through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach

    :  to envelop or take in as if by swallowing :  absorb

    :  to accept without question, protest, or resentment

  1. :  the passage connecting the mouth to the stomach

    :  a capacity for swallowing

    :  an act of swallowing

  1. :  a Canary Islands usually sweet wine similar to Madeira

    :  a lively 16th century court dance

    :  a small finch (Serinus canarius synonym S. canaria) of the Canary Islands that is usually greenish to yellow and is kept as a cage bird and singer

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up like the cat that ate/got/swallowed the canary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to criticize severely

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