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

CBS News visited the nearby Kilham Bear Center, now home to Mink's cubs and some younger ones who welcomed us with open paws. Chip Reid, CBS News, "Mink the bear was sent 100 miles away. She returned home anyway," 27 June 2019 Just imagine how much more paw-some the Democratic presidential debates next week could be, for example. Alex Ward, Vox, "Cat-astrophe: Pakistani politician’s event streamed on Facebook with cat filter on," 17 June 2019 The muddy spots on the trail feature more oval indentations of grizzly paws than bootprints. Anchorage Daily News, "The sound of silence in Russell Fjord," 8 June 2019 On a raw fall day, under a crown of golden birch leaves on a hill that overlooks a frigid lake, two-and-a-half-year-old Alexander Levin, dressed in a hooded bumblebee sweater, timidly holds Stepan’s paw. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019 Hunter Hayes, Cassadee Pope, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and more stopped to kiss the paw and give Doug a few pats at the Doug the Pug CMT Red Carpet Experience Presented by Pedigree. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Doug the Pug Dazzled the CMT Awards with Denim, Glitz and Good Cuddles," 7 June 2019 Three weeks after the females gave birth, the researchers measured the effects of their manipulations on the hind paws of the pups. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Talk to the hand. Scientists try to debunk idea that finger length can reveal personality and health," 6 June 2019 According to the Humane Society, the process usually involves removing the last bone of each toe on the cat's paw. Aj Willingham, CNN, "After bill passes, New York may become the first state to ban cat declawing," 4 June 2019 Police say the dog, a one-year-old cavachon, had wet paws that smelled like urine and the cage was not big enough. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Vernon Hills police: Woman charged with animal cruelty after dog found in hot garage," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nineteen canine competitors flocked to California’s Sonoma County last Friday, all pawing for the coveted title of World’s Ugliest Dog. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Meet Scamp the Tramp, the World’s Ugliest Dog," 25 June 2019 As Cherry discussed her journey, Apollo anxiously stood in the barn, cross tied, pawing at the ground and impatiently nudging Cherry. Grace Hollars, Indianapolis Star, "'It affects all of us': Why this abuse survivor is riding her horse through 48 states," 24 June 2019 Veterinarians report symptoms of peppermint oil poisoning in cats include difficulty breathing, trouble walking, excessive drooling, lethargy, muscle tremors, pawing at the mouth, redness or burns in and around the mouth, and vomiting. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Seemingly benign skunk deterrent can be dangerous for cats," 14 June 2019 When dogs were first domesticated, individuals that could readily respond to humans—both their direct commands and their indirect body language—had a leg (or paw) up over their more wary and socially challenged counterparts. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "If you’re chronically stressed, your dog could be too," 6 June 2019 Fitness Mallory Pugh paws a soccer ball like a panther does its prey. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "U.S. Soccer's Mallory Pugh on Age, Confidence, and Staying in the Game," 15 Mar. 2019 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

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

3 Jul 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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