Definition of paw in English:

paw

noun

  • 1An animal's foot having claws and pads.

    • ‘Ian remembered him best lying in his basket beneath the kitchen table, paws clawing sleepily at his pale blue blanket.’
    • ‘Once, I heard something scuffling inside one of the forbidden rooms, as if a cat or other animal was scratching their paws over the walls.’
    • ‘The animal left a large paw print in mud near houses at Beaumont Chase yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘The cat looked up from its toys and stretched out its paws to claw at the ragged arm of an old chair.’
    • ‘Poachers also sell bear paws as food and fur for clothing or rugs.’
    • ‘She strode up to the cat's right front paw, and began to stroke it.’
    • ‘The feet of the throne are modeled after large catlike paws without claws.’
    • ‘The river has chiselled the mountain face, making it resemble a lion's paw.’
    • ‘After the terrier cornered the rat, all Padlin saw was a commotion of claws, paws, and teeth.’
    • ‘The bear's expression darkened as he grumpily stood up on all four paws.’
    • ‘Nontoxic ink was applied to the front and hind paws of each animal to allow for later analysis of locomotor activity.’
    • ‘With a grimace, Olivia glares down at her suit jacket, rubbing the wet paw marks.’
    • ‘An irritant was injected into the left hind paw of the pups to induce swelling.’
    • ‘A white cat with bright eyes was curled upon the doorstep, meticulously licking its little paws.’
    • ‘Suddenly he sat down and started licking his paws, a portrait of innocence.’
    • ‘The mastiff began licking its paw, not taking its eyes from us.’
    • ‘Access to water is always recommended, as is staying off the asphalt, which can burn an animal's paws.’
    • ‘The dog had placed both front paws on her shoulders, knocking her down onto the grass of Hamilton Park.’
    • ‘I picked her up and, sure enough, all four paws were wet.’
    • ‘The pads on the lions' paws make very comfortable velvet cushions for them to rest their heads on.’
    foot, pad
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal A person's hand.
      ‘the Internet is the easiest way to get your paws on mucky pictures’
      • ‘He wanted to pluck it from the man's paw - he even pictured himself doing it - but his limbs refused to propel him towards it.’
      • ‘The filthy maggot has his paws all over her prized weapon!’
      • ‘At once he stepped forward to proffer his filthy paw.’
      • ‘'Get your filthy paws off her,' I think as anger sweeps through my body but it is shortly replaced with a desire.’
      • ‘You opened up the fridge and pulled out every piece of meat you can get your little paws on.’
      • ‘Don't just read a recipe book, read as many books as you can get your grubby paws on.’
      • ‘Her paws were tied palm to palm, with not only a rope around her wrist, but with string binding finger to finger as well.’
      • ‘Jimmy dropped his rifle and held his paws over his ears as he rolled around on the grass.’
      • ‘Get your filthy little paws on CD-ROMs featuring these sirens of British media culture.’
      • ‘Want to stop boosters from getting their greasy, grubby paws on the game?’
      fist, palm
      View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1(of an animal) feel or scrape with a paw or hoof.

    ‘the horse rose up, its forelegs pawing the air’
    no object ‘young dogs may paw at the floor and whine’
    • ‘The bull pawed the ground and tossed his mighty horns.’
    • ‘She reared, pawing at the air, and slammed her hooves to earth, panting.’
    • ‘The horse snorted, pawing the loosely packed dirt in the stable aisle.’
    • ‘Kat peaked through her closed eye lids to see a little black kitten pawing at her feet.’
    • ‘The blood bay stallion was pawing through the snow to the little thatches of dead grass below.’
    • ‘The units are smoothly animated both in combat and when just standing around, as horses paw the ground and archers play with their bows.’
    • ‘Silverwing looked away, her hooves pawing nervously at the ground.’
    • ‘Mesa cringed, as the strong creature pawed the water and rocks nervously.’
    • ‘The kitten merely pawed at his chest, trying to find the source of the rumbling.’
    • ‘Her whole body is shaking in anger, and reminds me of a bull pawing the ground before it charges.’
    • ‘She faced it as it began to paw at the ground and lower its head to charge.’
    • ‘Jonah saw several of the creatures pawing at the air and shaking their heads.’
    • ‘He looked about through the chilled air, pawing at the moist earth beneath him.’
    • ‘The glorious creature pawed the ground with it's silver hooves and snorted deep of the cold air.’
    • ‘She fell backwards, laughing hysterically as the kittens pawed at her nose and tugged on her hair.’
    • ‘Two fine, brown horses anxiously pawed at the cobblestone as Julius lent his hand to help me in.’
    • ‘A magnificent white stallion reared, hooves pawing at the air as it tossed its brilliant white mane and landed gently on the grass beneath its feet.’
    • ‘Horses pawed the ground anxiously as the warriors gathered.’
    • ‘Juno looked around and saw that Riddle was right, for the two horses were pawing at the ground in agitation.’
    poke, handle carelessly, handle clumsily, handle roughly, finger, thumb, pull, grab, maul, manhandle, mangle, mess up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal (of a person) touch or handle clumsily or lasciviously.
      ‘some overweight Casanova had tried to paw her’
      • ‘Desdemona locks it, then begins pawing the mirror.’
      • ‘We killed time here and there, and I found myself in a store pawing through the sale shirts.’
      • ‘Yes, I'm aware they are online but I like to go in and paw the merchandise.’
      • ‘Little grubby children rushed past her, pawing her dress, of which they had never seen such quality.’
      • ‘Back at my desk, I slowly pawed through all of my belongings.’
      • ‘Kassa sat on the sofa nervously twiddling her thumbs; Vlad sat beside her lazily pawing her hair.’
      • ‘Before I left the house today, I pawed through a box for some old unused show prep from the Diner days.’
      • ‘I was slowly going mad with joy and trying my best to keep looking normal, pawing a CD every now and then.’
      • ‘I wasn't about to let people go around pawing a holy artifact like it was just any old piece of junk.’
      • ‘I'm there often, greedily pawing their goods, and adding things constantly to my wish list.’
      • ‘Now all three of my best friends are pawing through my underwear.’
      • ‘She was pawing at the camera and seemed oblivious to it all.’
      • ‘She zipped open the duffel bag, pawing through it.’
      • ‘Left alone for a moment in her room, I quickly pawed through the perfume bottles on her glass-and-gilt vanity tray, eager to see what the other half was spritzing.’
      • ‘We drive into town quick for something and return to find neighbors pawing through the stuff, thinking it was a yard sale.’
      • ‘I wander round looking like a lost child pawing things for a while, and then panic and pick up something which neither fits nor suits me.’
      • ‘I didn't stop pawing through my bag in search of Kleenex but looked up from my seat on the bench.’
      • ‘He was pawing playfully with one of her dangly earrings.’
      • ‘I wanted something aggressive; I began pawing through my CDs.’
      • ‘This morning I was pawing through my jumbled collection of socks, looking for a match to an olive one I had already plucked from the drawer.’
      poke, handle carelessly, handle clumsily, handle roughly, finger, thumb, pull, grab, maul, manhandle, mangle, mess up
      fondle, feel, maul, molest
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French poue, probably of Germanic origin and related to Dutch poot.

Pronunciation

paw

/pɔː/