cat

What's another name for the four-legged feline that lies around on your keyboard all day and purrs? You might call it “Fluffy,” but it’s also known as a cat.

If you’re in the market for a pet cat, just make sure it meows, and doesn’t roar like the lion, tiger, or jaguar, all of which are in the same family as the housecat. Domesticated as long ago as ancient Egyptian times, the cat is a fixture not only in many homes, but also in a host of English expressions — like, “when the cat’s away, the mice will play,” “it’s raining cats and dogs,” and “the cat’s pajamas.”

Primary Meanings of cat

1.
n
feline mammal usually having thick soft fur and no ability to roar: domestic cats; wildcats
2.
nv
a whip with nine knotted cords
beat with a cat-o'-nine-tails
3.
n
a large tracked vehicle that is propelled by two endless metal belts; frequently used for moving earth in construction and farm work
4.
n
a spiteful woman gossip
5.
n
an informal term for a youth or man
6.
n
the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea; has the effect of a euphoric stimulant
7.
v
eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
Full Definitions of cat
1

n feline mammal usually having thick soft fur and no ability to roar: domestic cats; wildcats

Synonyms:
true cat
Types:
show 31 types...
hide 31 types...
Felis catus, Felis domesticus, domestic cat, house cat
any domesticated member of the genus Felis
wildcat
any small or medium-sized cat resembling the domestic cat and living in the wild
kitty, kitty-cat, puss, pussy, pussycat
informal terms referring to a domestic cat
mouser
a cat proficient at mousing
alley cat
a homeless cat
tom, tomcat
male cat
queen, tabby
female cat
tabby, tabby cat
a cat with a grey or tawny coat mottled with black
tiger cat
a cat having a striped coat
calico cat, tortoiseshell, tortoiseshell-cat
a cat having black and cream-colored and yellowish markings
Persian cat
a long-haired breed of cat
Angora, Angora cat
a long-haired breed of cat similar to the Persian cat
Siamese, Siamese cat
a slender short-haired blue-eyed breed of cat having a pale coat with dark ears paws face and tail tip
Burmese cat
a short-haired breed with body similar to the Siamese cat but having a solid dark brown or grey coat
Egyptian cat
a domestic cat of Egypt
Maltese, Maltese cat
a term applied indiscriminately in the United States to any short-haired bluish-grey cat
Abyssinian, Abyssinian cat
a small slender short-haired breed of African origin having brownish fur with a reddish undercoat
Manx, Manx cat
a short-haired tailless breed of cat believed to originate on the Isle of Man
sand cat
a desert wildcat
European wildcat, Felis silvestris, catamountain
bushy-tailed wildcat of Europe that resembles the domestic cat and is regarded as the ancestor of the domestic cat
Felis concolor, catamount, cougar, mountain lion, painter, panther, puma
large American feline resembling a lion
Felis pardalis, ocelot, panther cat
nocturnal wildcat of Central America and South America having a dark-spotted buff-brown coat
Felis yagouaroundi, eyra, jaguarondi, jaguarundi, jaguarundi cat
long-bodied long-tailed tropical American wildcat
Felis ocreata, caffer cat, kaffir cat
widely distributed wildcat of Africa and Asia Minor
Felis chaus, jungle cat
small Asiatic wildcat
Felis serval, serval
slender long-legged African wildcat having large untufted ears and tawny black-spotted coat
Felis bengalensis, leopard cat
small spotted wildcat of southern Asia and Malaysia
Felis tigrina, tiger cat
medium-sized wildcat of Central America and South America having a dark-striped coat
Felis wiedi, margay, margay cat
small spotted wildcat found from Texas to Brazil
Felis manul, Pallas's cat, manul
small wildcat of the mountains of Siberia and Tibet and Mongolia
catamount, lynx
short-tailed wildcats with usually tufted ears; valued for their fur
Type of:
felid, feline
any of various lithe-bodied roundheaded fissiped mammals, many with retractile claws

n any of several large cats typically able to roar and living in the wild

Synonyms:
big cat
Types:
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Panthera pardus, leopard
large feline of African and Asian forests usually having a tawny coat with black spots
Panthera uncia, ounce, snow leopard
large feline of upland central Asia having long thick whitish fur
Felis onca, Panthera onca, jaguar, panther
a large spotted feline of tropical America similar to the leopard; in some classifications considered a member of the genus Felis
Panthera leo, king of beasts, lion
large gregarious predatory feline of Africa and India having a tawny coat with a shaggy mane in the male
Panthera tigris, tiger
large feline of forests in most of Asia having a tawny coat with black stripes; endangered
liger
offspring of a male lion and a female tiger
tiglon, tigon
offspring of a male tiger and a female lion
Acinonyx jubatus, cheetah, chetah
long-legged spotted cat of Africa and southwestern Asia having nonretractile claws; the swiftest mammal; can be trained to run down game
saber-toothed tiger, sabertooth
any of many extinct cats of the Old and New Worlds having long swordlike upper canine teeth; from the Oligocene through the Pleistocene
lion cub
a young lion
tiger cub
a young tiger
leopardess
female leopard
panther
a leopard in the black color phase
lioness
a female lion
lionet
a small or young lion
Bengal tiger
southern short-haired tiger
tigress
a female tiger
Smiledon californicus
North American sabertooth; culmination of sabertooth development
false saber-toothed tiger
North American cat of the Miocene and Pliocene; much earlier and less specialized than members of the genus Smiledon
Type of:
felid, feline
any of various lithe-bodied roundheaded fissiped mammals, many with retractile claws
2

n a whip with nine knotted cords

“British sailors feared the cat
Synonyms:
cat-o'-nine-tails
Type of:
whip
an instrument with a handle and a flexible lash that is used for whipping

v beat with a cat-o'-nine-tails

Type of:
flog, lash, lather, slash, strap, trounce, welt, whip
beat severely with a whip or rod
3

n a large tracked vehicle that is propelled by two endless metal belts; frequently used for moving earth in construction and farm work

Synonyms:
Caterpillar
Type of:
tracked vehicle
a self-propelled vehicle that moves on tracks
4

n a spiteful woman gossip

“what a cat she is!”
Type of:
gossip, gossiper, gossipmonger, newsmonger, rumormonger, rumourmonger
a person given to gossiping and divulging personal information about others
adult female, woman
an adult female person (as opposed to a man)
5

n an informal term for a youth or man

Synonyms:
bozo, guy, hombre
Types:
sod
an informal British term for a youth or man
Type of:
adult male, man
an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman)
6

n the leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea; has the effect of a euphoric stimulant

Synonyms:
African tea, Arabian tea, kat, khat, qat, quat
Type of:
excitant, stimulant, stimulant drug
a drug that temporarily quickens some vital process
7

v eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth

Synonyms:
barf, be sick, chuck, disgorge, throw up, vomit, vomit up
Antonyms:
keep down
manage not to throw up
Type of:
egest, eliminate, excrete, pass
eliminate from the body

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