Definition of cat's paw in English:

cat's paw


  • A person who is used by another to carry out an unpleasant or dangerous task.

    ‘he was merely a cat's paw of older and cleverer men’
    • ‘So profound now is his dominance that all competitors have willingly consigned themselves to being nothing more than cat's paws.’
    • ‘We now have many senators who are mere cat's paws for the special interests.’
    • ‘Throughout, they appear to have used Laos more or less as a complaisant cat's paw.’
    • ‘Each country thinks independence is the cat's paw of the other: a cosmetic cover for nefarious designs.’
    • ‘But don't let their geeky, kindly manner turn you into a cat's paw.’
    • ‘Apparently these protesters wanted to make the point that their political context and demands were completely local and that they could not be dismissed as cat's paws of Iran.’
    • ‘With all the other parties, save the cat's paw Liberal Democrats, ganging up to denounce the First Minister, she produced a typically feisty performance that routed his opponents.’
    • ‘The entire spectacle is a politically salutary lesson in the hypocrisy and brutality of imperialism, and the role of the United Nations as the cat's paw of great power politics.’
    • ‘They're going to send their cat's paws, the Democrats, after those who serve Jesus.’
    • ‘He thinks that the man is a cat's paw from Claggart who is still after him.’
    • ‘I'll never be anybody's cat's paw again.’
    • ‘It utilizes this gang of war lords as its cat's paw in Central Asia.’
    • ‘In a flash, the professor became a source of regional antagonism, a cat's paw of conservatives and the subject of widespread condemnation.’
    • ‘According to the Spanish proposal, ‘violent urban youthful radicalism is increasingly being used as a cat's paw by terrorist groups in order to achieve their criminal aims’.’
    • ‘The KLA was in fact functioning as a cat's paw of the Western powers.’
    • ‘So there's no point waiting to call him what he is: an enemy of progressive change in this country and a cat's paw of the Republican party.’
    sycophant, toady, lackey, flunkey, minion, stooge, kowtower, truckler, groveller, crawler, creep, fawner, flatterer, lickspittle, uriah heep, puppet, instrument, pawn, underling, hanger-on, camp follower, doormat, spaniel
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