play (a game of) cat and mouse

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of play (a game of) cat and mouse

: to engage in behavior that is like the way a cat chases a mouse or plays with a mouse before killing it used especially to describe behavior in which someone says or does different things to deceive or control other people, to avoid being caught, etc.
  • The governor has been playing (a game of) cat and mouse with the media, refusing to say definitely whether he will run for reelection.

Word by Word Definitions

play play
  1. : swordplay

  2. : game, sport

  3. : the conduct, course, or action of a game

  1. : to engage in sport or recreation : frolic

  2. : to have sexual relations

  3. : to move aimlessly about : trifle

game play
  1. : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : play

  2. : the equipment for a game

  3. : often derisive or mocking jesting : fun, sport

  1. : to play for a stake

  2. : to lose or squander by gambling

  3. : to take dishonest advantage of : cheat

  1. : having or showing a resolute unyielding spirit

  2. : willing or ready to proceed

  3. : of or relating to game

  1. : lame

mouse play
  1. : any of numerous small rodents (as of the genus Mus) with pointed snout, rather small ears, elongated body, and slender tail

  2. : a timid person

  3. : a dark-colored swelling caused by a blow

  1. : to hunt for mice

  2. : to search or move stealthily or slowly

  3. : bite, gnaw


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