Definition of cat noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    cat

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//kæt//
     
     
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  1. 1 a small animal with soft fur that people often keep as a pet. Cats catch and kill birds and mice cat food see also kitten, tomcat
  2. 2a wild animal of the cat family the big cats (= lions, tigers, etc.) see also fat cat, wildcat
  3. Idioms
    be the cat's meow/pajamas(informal)
     
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    to be the best thing, person, idea, etc. He really thinks he's the cat's meow (= he has a high opinion of himself).
    be raining cats and dogs(informal)
     
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    to be raining heavily
    (has the) cat got your tongue?(informal)
     
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    said to someone, especially a child, who stays silent when expected to speak, for example after being asked a question What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?
    curiosity killed the cat(saying)
     
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    used to tell someone not to ask questions or try to find out about things that do not concern them
    fight like cats and dogs
     
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    to argue in a very angry way, especially regularly over a period of time We fought like cats and dogs when we were younger.
    let the cat out of the bag
     
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    to tell a secret carelessly or by mistake I wanted it to be a surprise, but my sister let the cat out of the bag.
    like a cat on a hot tin roof
     
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    very nervous She was like a cat on a hot tin roof before her driving test.
    like the cat that got/ate/swallowed the canary
     
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    very pleased with yourself synonym smug She looked like a cat that got the canary—she was almost purring with pleasure.
    look like something the cat brought/dragged in(informal)
     
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    (of a person) to look dirty and messy
    no room to swing a cat(informal)
     
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    when someone says there's no room to swing a cat, they mean that a room is very small and that there is not enough space
    play (a game of) cat and mouse with somebody,play a cat-and-mouse game with somebody
     
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    to play a cruel game with someone in your power by changing your behavior very often, so that they become nervous and do not know what to expect He thought the police were playing some elaborate game of cat and mouse and waiting to trap him.
    there's more than one way to skin a cat(saying)(humorous)
     
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    there are many different ways to achieve something
    when the cat's away the mice will play(saying)
     
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    people enjoy themselves more and behave with greater freedom when the person in charge of them is not there
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cat