paw

noun
\ ˈpȯ How to pronounce paw (audio) \

Definition of paw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the foot of a quadruped (such as a lion or dog) that has claws broadly : the foot of an animal
2 : a human hand especially when large or clumsy

paw

verb
pawed; pawing; paws

Definition of paw (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to touch or strike at with a paw
2 : to feel or touch clumsily, rudely, or sexually
3 : to scrape or beat with or as if with a hoof
4 : to flail at or grab for wildly

intransitive verb

1 : to beat or scrape something with or as if with a hoof
2 : to touch or strike with a paw
3 : to feel or touch someone or something clumsily, rudely, or sexually
4 : to flail or grab wildly
5 : to search especially carelessly or roughly pawed through the box of discount items

Examples of paw in a Sentence

Noun

The dog injured his paw.

Verb

The bull was pawing the dirt. The celebrity couple was pawed by a mob of adoring fans. She claims that her boss got drunk and tried to paw her at the company Christmas party. A crowd of customers was pawing over the remaining sales items. She pawed through her purse to find her cell phone.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hiking with your dog is a paw-some way to bond and get some fresh air together. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About Hiking With Your Dog," 12 Feb. 2019 But in recent years, it has also been used as an (ineffective) cancer cure or as a general tonic — a draft of rice wine mixed with bear bile, or steeped in a bear’s paw, might stave off a hangover, some say. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "China’s bear bile industry persists despite growing awareness of the cruelty involved," 3 June 2018 One of my kids had spotted him at a shelter, saw that black dot on his mostly white face, those white paws on his mostly black legs, that pink nose the color of carnations, and that was that. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: My cat thinks he's a dog but he's actually a lifesaver," 29 Apr. 2018 Look at that nose, look at those eyes, look at those paws. Jonathan Lai, Philly.com, "How to keep innocent people out of prison: Limit mistaken IDs," 5 Apr. 2018 The all-volunteer nonprofit has had a paw in getting seven San Antonio dogs to 2015’s Puppy Bowl, three to 2016’s Puppy Bowl, and three more to last year’s Puppy Bowl. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "‘Puppy Bowl’ 2018 to star two dogs from San Antonio," 2 Feb. 2018 There’s a clue to the book’s duality on the front cover: What first appear to be random splotches of thick blue paint represent, in fact, a paw print. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Pachyderm Parties and a Hue That’ll Make You Cry," 20 Sep. 2018 More than 30 cats have been rehoused after putting their best paws forward at Moon Cat. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Mobile cat cafe perches at Costa Mesa pet expo," 27 Apr. 2018 Their white and pink headpieces are in the shape of bunnies, with chunky paws that hang down past their shoulders. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Camila Mendes and Charles Melton Wear Matching Bunny Hats in South Korea," 29 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

All that careful counting and pawing through the register for change is slow. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 Unfortunately, the controller immediately caught the attention of my cat, who started pawing at it in delight. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The Pokémon: Let’s Go Poké Ball controller is psyching out dogs," 20 Nov. 2018 In one image, the cougar is seen pawing at the front door. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Mountain lions captured lurking in front of California homes amid recent wildfires," 31 July 2018 England’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, had set the stage by pawing away Carlos Bacca’s fifth attempt for Colombia with a dive to his right. Andrew Das, New York Times, "England Shakes Its Shootout Curse and Saves Its World Cup," 5 July 2018 Manuel Uribe missed by smashing his effort against the crossbar to level things up, then Pickford dived to keep out Carlos Bacca, pawing the ball away with his trailing left hand. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "22 years later, the weight of the world is off England's shoulders," 3 July 2018 For pet dogs and cats, owners should look for any signs of breathing trouble, coughing or pawing at the eyes and nose, veterinarians said. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Until Seattle smoke subsides, play fetch with Fido inside, veterinarians say," 20 Aug. 2018 One pooch starts licking Louie's toe while the other licks his hand, pawing clumsily at the tot. Christina Oehler, Woman's Day, "This Video of Two Pugs Kissing a Baby Is So Stinking Adorable, You'll Forget All Your Troubles," 31 July 2015 Partway through the taping, his orange tabby began pawing and mewing at Targalski’s right side. Amy B Wang, The Seattle Times, "A professor was giving a TV interview about Polish politics. His cat didn’t care.," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paw.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of paw

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for paw

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French powe, poe

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Dictionary Entries near paw

pavonian

pavonine

pavonite

paw

paw foot

pawkery

pawkily

Statistics for paw

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for paw

The first known use of paw was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for paw

paw

noun

English Language Learners Definition of paw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the foot of an animal that has claws
informal + disapproving : a person's hand

paw

verb

English Language Learners Definition of paw (Entry 2 of 2)

of an animal : to touch or hit (someone or something) with a paw or foot
: to touch (someone or something) in a rough or sexual way
: to search by using your hands in an awkward or careless way

paw

noun
\ ˈpȯ How to pronounce paw (audio) \

Kids Definition of paw

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the foot of a four-footed animal (as a lion, dog, or cat) that has claws

paw

verb
pawed; pawing

Kids Definition of paw (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to touch or hit with a paw My dog pawed the door.
2 : to beat or scrape with a hoof The nervous horse pawed the ground.
3 : to touch or handle in a clumsy or rude way She pawed the family photos.

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More from Merriam-Webster on paw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with paw

Spanish Central: Translation of paw

Nglish: Translation of paw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paw for Arabic Speakers

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