A paw is a four-legged animal's foot. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and bears all have paws. Sharks? Not so much.

Most paws have claws and soft pads that cushion the animal's legs as it walks. Cats' paws have sharp, retractable claws, while dogs have hard, dull claws that don't retract. There are also many animals with four legs that don't have paws, like horses and lizards. If an animal paws you, it nudges or scrapes you with its paw. If a person paws you, they use their hands clumsily, almost as if they were paws.

Definitions of paw

n a clawed foot of an animal, especially a quadruped

front paw; analogous to the human hand
terminal part of the forelimb in certain vertebrates (e.g. apes or kangaroos)
Type of:
animal foot, foot
the pedal extremity of vertebrates other than human beings

n the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb

hand, manus, mitt
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clenched fist, fist
a hand with the fingers clenched in the palm (as for hitting)
hooks, maulers, meat hooks
large strong hand (as of a fighter)
right, right hand
the hand that is on the right side of the body
left, left hand
the hand that is on the left side of the body
Type of:
that part of a limb that is farthest from the torso

v scrape with the paws

“The bear pawed the door”
Type of:
grate, scrape
scratch repeatedly

v touch clumsily

“The man tried to paw her”
Type of:
caress, fondle
touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner

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