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
  1. noun
    a clawed foot of an animal, especially a quadruped
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    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
  2. noun
    the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb
    synonyms: 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
  3. verb
    scrape with the paws
    “The bear pawed the door”
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    type of:
    grate, scrape
    scratch repeatedly
  4. verb
    touch clumsily
    “The man tried to paw her”
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    type of:
    caress, fondle
    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
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