/kat/, n., v., catted, catting.
1. a small domesticated carnivore, Felis domestica or F. catus, bred in a number of varieties.
2. any of several carnivores of the family Felidae, as the lion, tiger, leopard or jaguar, etc.
3. Slang.
a. a person, esp. a man.
b. a devotee of jazz.
4. a woman given to spiteful or malicious gossip.
5. the fur of the domestic cat.
6. a cat-o'-nine-tails.
7. Games.
a. Chiefly Brit. the tapering piece of wood used in the game of tipcat.
b. Chiefly Brit. the game itself.
8. a catboat.
9. a catamaran.
10. a catfish.
11. Naut. a tackle used in hoisting an anchor to the cathead.
12. a double tripod having six legs but resting on only three no matter how it is set down, usually used before or over a fire.
13. Navy Informal. catapult (def. 2).
14. (in medieval warfare) a movable shelter for providing protection when approaching a fortification.
15. bell the cat, to attempt something formidable or dangerous.
16. let the cat out of the bag, to divulge a secret, esp. inadvertently or carelessly: He let the cat out of the bag, and the surprise party wasn't a surprise after all.
17. to flog with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
18. Naut. to hoist (an anchor) and secure to a cathead.
19. Brit. Slang. to vomit.
20. cat around, Slang.
a. to spend one's time aimlessly or idly.
b. to seek sexual activity indiscriminately; tomcat.
[bef. 900; ME cat, catte, OE catt (masc.), catte (fem.); c. OFris, MD katte, OHG kazza, ON kottr, Ir cat, Welsh cath (Slavic *kotu, Lith kate perh. < Gmc), LL cattus, catta (first attested in the 4th century, presumably with the introduction of domestic cats); ult. orig. obscure]

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Any member of the family Felidae, the most highly specialized group of mammalian carnivores.

Modern-type cats appeared in the fossil record about 10 million years ago. Cats in the genus Panthera (leopard, jaguar, tiger, and lion) roar but cannot purr, and their pupils are round. Other cats, including the snow leopard and cougar, can purr but do not roar; the pupil is usually vertical. Cats have sharp, retractable (except in the cheetah) claws, and their teeth are adapted for stabbing, anchoring, and cutting. They almost always land on their feet when they fall from a height. Most species are nocturnal, and their eyes are adapted for seeing in low light. Cats are known for their habit of grooming themselves with their rasplike tongue. Small cats have been domesticated for some 3,500 years (see domestic cat). Other cat species include the bobcat, caracal, lynx, ocelot, serval, and wildcat.
(as used in expressions)
cat's eye
house cat
Kit Cat Club
bear cat
cat bear
sabre toothed cat
Cats Jacobus
Father Cats

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abbreviation  of Computerized Axial Tomography,  

      a radiologic diagnostic technique used in medicine. See tomography.

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Universalium. 2010.

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