What does cat mean?

Definitions for cat

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word cat.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cat, true catnoun

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

  2. guy, cat, hombre, bozonoun

    an informal term for a youth or man

    "a nice guy"; "the guy's only doing it for some doll"

  3. catnoun

    a spiteful woman gossip

    "what a cat she is!"

  4. kat, khat, qat, quat, cat, Arabian tea, African teanoun

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

    "in Yemen kat is used daily by 85% of adults"

  5. cat-o'-nine-tails, catnoun

    a whip with nine knotted cords

    "British sailors feared the cat"

  6. Caterpillar, catnoun

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

  7. big cat, catnoun

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

  8. computerized tomography, computed tomography, CT, computerized axial tomography, computed axial tomography, CATverb

    a method of examining body organs by scanning them with X rays and using a computer to construct a series of cross-sectional scans along a single axis

  9. catverb

    beat with a cat-o'-nine-tails

  10. vomit, vomit up, purge, cast, sick, cat, be sick, disgorge, regorge, retch, puke, barf, spew, spue, chuck, upchuck, honk, regurgitate, throw upverb

    eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth

    "After drinking too much, the students vomited"; "He purged continuously"; "The patient regurgitated the food we gave him last night"


  1. catnoun

    A catamaran.

  2. catnoun

    (Zool.) Any animal belonging to the natural family Felidae, and in particular to the various species of the genera Felis, Panthera, and Lynx. The domestic cat is Felis domestica. The European wild cat (Felis catus) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name wild cat is commonly applied to the bay lynx (Lynx rufus). The larger felines, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See Wild cat, and Tiger cat.


  1. catnoun

    A domesticated subspecies of feline animal, commonly kept as a house pet.

  2. catnoun

    Any similar animal of the family Felidae, which includes lions, tigers, etc.

  3. cat

    A catfish.

  4. cat

    A spiteful or angry woman.

  5. cat

    An enthusiast or player of jazz.

  6. cat

    A person (usually male).

  7. cat

    A strong tackle used to hoist an anchor to the cathead of a ship.

  8. cat

    Contraction of cat-o'-nine-tails.

    No room to swing a cat.

  9. cat

    Any of a variety of earth-moving machines. (from their manufacturer Caterpillar Inc.)

  10. catverb

    To hoist (the anchor) by its ring so that it hangs at the cathead.

  11. catverb

    To flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails.

  12. cat

    To vomit something.

  13. catnoun

    A catamaran.

  14. catnoun

    A 'catenate' program and command in Unix that reads one or more files and directs their content to an output device.

  15. catverb

    To apply the cat command to (one or more files).

  16. catverb

    To dump large amounts of data on (an unprepared target) usually with no intention of browsing it carefully.

  17. cat

    A sturdy merchant sailing vessel .

  18. cat

    The game of "trap and ball" (also called "cat and dog").

  19. cat

    The trap of the game of "trap and ball".

  20. cat


  21. cat

    A vagina; female external genitalia

  22. catadjective

    terrible, disastrous.

    The weather was cat, so they returned home early.

  23. Etymology: Abbreviation of Catherine.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CATnoun

    A domestick animal that catches mice, commonly reckoned by naturalists the lowest order of the leonine species.

    Etymology: katz, Teuton. chat, Fr.

    ’Twas you incens’d the rabble:
    Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth,
    As I can of those mysteries, which heav’n
    Will not have earth to know. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    A cat, as she beholds the light, draws the ball of her eye small and long, being covered over with a green skin, and dilates it at pleasure. Henry Peacham, on Drawing.

  2. Catnoun

    A sort of ship.


  1. Cat

    The cat (Felis catus) is a domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is often referred to as the domestic cat to distinguish it from the wild members of the family. A cat can either be a house cat, a farm cat or a feral cat; the latter ranges freely and avoids human contact. Domestic cats are valued by humans for companionship and their ability to hunt rodents. About 60 cat breeds are recognized by various cat registries.The cat is similar in anatomy to the other felid species: it has a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. Its night vision and sense of smell are well developed. Cat communication includes vocalizations like meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting as well as cat-specific body language. A predator that is most active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular), the cat is a solitary hunter but a social species. It can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small mammals. It secretes and perceives pheromones.Female domestic cats can have kittens from spring to late autumn, with litter sizes often ranging from two to five kittens. Domestic cats are bred and shown at events as registered pedigreed cats, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, as well as abandonment of pets, resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, contributing to the extinction of entire bird, mammal, and reptile species, and evoking population control.Cats were first domesticated in the Near East around 7500 BC. It was long thought that cat domestication was initiated in ancient Egypt, as since around 3100 BC veneration was given to cats in ancient Egypt. As of 2021 there are an estimated 220 million owned and 480 million stray cats in the world. As of 2017, the domestic cat was the second-most popular pet in the United States, with 95 million cats owned. In the United Kingdom, 26% of adults have a cat with an estimated population of 10.9 million pet cats as of 2020.


  1. cat

    A cat is a small carnivorous mammal that is domesticated or kept as a pet. It typically has a slender body, sharp retractable claws, and a strong hunting instinct. Cats are known for their independent nature, agility, and ability to communicate with various vocalizations and body language. They are often valued for their companionship and their ability to control pests, particularly rodents.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Catnoun

    an animal of various species of the genera Felis and Lynx. The domestic cat is Felis domestica. The European wild cat (Felis catus) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name wild cat is commonly applied to the bay lynx (Lynx rufus) See Wild cat, and Tiger cat

  2. Catnoun

    a strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal and timber trade

  3. Catnoun

    a strong tackle used to draw an anchor up to the cathead of a ship

  4. Catnoun

    a double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position in is placed

  5. Catnoun

    an old game; (a) The game of tipcat and the implement with which it is played. See Tipcat. (c) A game of ball, called, according to the number of batters, one old cat, two old cat, etc

  6. Catnoun

    a cat o' nine tails. See below

  7. Catverb

    to bring to the cathead; as, to cat an anchor. See Anchor

  8. Etymology: [AS. cat; akin to D. & Dan. kat, Sw. katt, Icel. kttr, G. katze, kater, Ir. cat, W. cath, Armor. kaz, LL. catus, Bisc. catua, NGr. ga`ta, ga`tos, Russ. & Pol. kot, Turk. kedi, Ar. qitt; of unknown origin. Cf. Kitten.]


  1. Cat

    The domestic cat is a small, usually furry, domesticated, and carnivorous mammal. It is often called the housecat when kept as an indoor pet, or simply the cat when there is no need to distinguish it from other felids and felines. Cats are often valued by humans for companionship and their ability to hunt vermin and household pests. Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with strong, flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small game. They can see in near darkness. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans. Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations as well as cat pheromones and types of cat-specific body language. Cats have a rapid breeding rate. Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, and the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring population control.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cat

    kat, n. a common domestic animal kept to devour mice: a spiteful woman: a movable pent-house used for their protection by besiegers: a double tripod with six legs: a piece of wood tapering at each end, struck with the Cat-stick in the game of tip-cat, this game itself: short for the Cat-o'-nine′-tails, an instrument of punishment consisting of a whip with nine tails or lashes, with three or four knots on each, once used in the army and navy.—v.t. to raise the anchor to the cathead.—ns. Cat′amount, a common name in the United States for the cougar or puma—also called Panther, Painter, and American lion; Catamoun′tain, or Cat o' mountain, a leopard, panther, or ocelot: a wild mountaineer.—adj. ferocious, savage.—adj. Cat-and-dog, used attributively for quarrelsome.—ns. Cat′-bird, an American bird of the thrush family, so called on account of the resemblance of its note to the mewing of a cat; Cat′-call, a squeaking instrument used in theatres to express dislike of a play: a shrill whistle or cry.—v.i. to sound a cat-call.—v.t. to assail with such.—adj. Cat′-eyed, having eyes like a cat: able to see in the dark.—n. Cat′gut, a kind of cord made from the intestines of animals, and used as strings for violins, harps, guitars, &c., the cords of clock-makers, &c.: the violin or other stringed instrument: a coarse corded cloth.—adj. Cat′-hammed, with thin hams like a cat's.—ns. Cat′head, one of two strong beams of timber projecting from the bow of a ship, on each side of the bowsprit, through which the ropes pass by which the anchor is raised; Cat′-hole, one of two holes in the after part of a ship, through which hawsers may pass for steadying the ship or for heaving astern; Cat′hood, state of being a cat or having the nature of a cat; Cat′kin, a crowded spike or tuft of small unisexual flowers with reduced scale-like bracts, as in the willow, hazel, &c.; Cat′-lap, any thin or poor drink.—adj. Cat′-like, noiseless, stealthy.—ns. Cat′ling, a little cat, a kitten: the downy moss on some trees, like the fur of a cat: (Shak.) a lute-string; Cat′mint, a perennial plant resembling mint, said to be so called from the fondness cats have for it; Cat's′-crā′dle, a game played by children, two alternately taking from each other's fingers an intertwined cord, so as always to maintain a symmetrical figure; Cat's′-eye, a beautiful variety of quartz, so called from the resemblance which the reflection of light from it bears to the light that seems to emanate from the eye of a cat; Cat's-foot, a plant, called also Ground-ivy; Cat′-sil′ver, a variety of silvery mica; Cat's′-meat, horses' flesh, or the like, sold for cats by street dealers; Cat's′-paw (naut.), a light breeze: the dupe or tool of another—from the fable of the monkey who used the paws of the cat to draw the roasting chestnuts out of the fire; Cat's′-tail, a catkin: a genus of aquatic plants of the reed kind, the leaves of which are sometimes used for making mats, seating chairs, &c.: a kind of grass.—adj. Cat′-wit′ted, small-minded, conceited, and spiteful.—Catted and fished, said of an anchor raised to the cathead and secured to the ship's side.—Bell the cat (see Bell).—Care killed the cat, even with his proverbial nine lives.—Cheshire cats are proverbially notable for grinning, and Kilkenny cats proverbially fight till each destroys the other.—Rain cats and dogs, to pour down heavily.—See which way the cat jumps, to watch how things are going to turn before committing one's self.—Turn the cat in the pan, to change sides with dexterity.—For Gib-cat, Tabby-cat, Tom-cat, see under Gib, Tabby, &c. [A.S. cat; found also in Celt., Slav., Ar., Finn, &c.]

  2. Cat

    kat, n. an old name for a coal and timber vessel on the north-east coast of England.—adj. Cat′-rigged, having one great fore-and-aft mainsail spread by a gaff at the head and a boom at the foot, for smooth water only.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. cat

    [from catenate via Unix cat(1)] 1. [techspeak] To spew an entire file to the screen or some other output sink without pause (syn. blast). 2. By extension, to dump large amounts of data at an unprepared target or with no intention of browsing it carefully. Usage: considered silly. Rare outside Unix sites. See also dd, BLT.Among Unix fans, cat(1) is considered an excellent example of user-interface design, because it delivers the file contents without such verbosity as spacing or headers between the files, and because it does not require the files to consist of lines of text, but works with any sort of data.Among Unix haters, cat(1) is considered the canonical example of bad user-interface design, because of its woefully unobvious name. It is far more often used to blast a file to standard output than to concatenate two files. The name cat for the former operation is just as unintuitive as, say, LISP's cdr.Of such oppositions are holy wars made.... See also UUOC.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. cat

    A ship formed on the Norwegian model, and usually employed in the coal and timber trade. These vessels are generally built remarkably strong, and may carry six hundred tons; or in the language of their own mariners, from 20 to 30 keels of coals. A cat is distinguished by a narrow stern, projecting quarters, a deep waist, and no ornamental figure on the prow.

Editors Contribution

  1. catadjective

    a cat is a type of animal that is soft and cute & sometimes funny but mostly cute

    this cat is so cute

    Etymology: cats are in all the presditors

    Submitted by emilyp.40377 on October 31, 2022  

  2. cat

    A type of animal.

    The cats are so beautiful.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 20, 2020  

  3. cat


    Submitted by anonymous on September 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. cat

    Song lyrics by cat -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by cat on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. CAT

    What does CAT stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the CAT acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. CAT

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cat is ranked #99378 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Cat surname appeared 182 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Cat.

    53.8% or 98 total occurrences were Asian.
    30.7% or 56 total occurrences were White.
    7.1% or 13 total occurrences were Black.
    6.5% or 12 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cat' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2878

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cat' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1280

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'cat' in Nouns Frequency: #846

Anagrams for cat »

  1. act act.

  2. Act.

  3. ACT

  4. ATC

  5. tac

  6. TAC

  7. TCA

How to pronounce cat?

How to say cat in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cat in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cat in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of cat in a Sentence

  1. Keith Poulsen:

    I think it's a very low risk, there have been reports of cats getting sick from direct contact with dogs, although there hasn't been a virus-positive cat reported yet.

  2. Tiffany Lacey:

    That's happening all over the place right now, we rescued a cat from an apartment in East Village. The gentleman had gone to the hospital and never made it out. It keeps coming in.

  3. Jack Hanna:

    Animal rights activists believe all animals, including your dog or cat, should have the same rights as people and be free; therefore they shouldn’t be in human care under any circumstances.

  4. Letitia Elizabeth Landon:

    I like a cat because it does not disguise its selfishness with any flattering hypocrisies. Its attachment is not to yourself, but to your house. Let it but have food, and a warm lair among the embers, and it heeds not at whose expense. Then it has the spirit to resent aggression. You shall beat your dog, and he will fawn upon you; but a cat never forgives : it has no tender mercies, and it torments before it destroys its prey.

  5. Shauna Sperber:

    When I brought them to the airport, they jokingly said, ‘incaseyou hear a cat, don’t be alarmed,’.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for cat

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for cat »


Find a translation for the cat definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"cat." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cat>.

Discuss these cat definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for cat? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm
    A abrupt
    B transparent
    C suspicious
    D dangerous

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for cat: