Definition of paw in English:

paw

noun

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

    • ‘Poachers also sell bear paws as food and fur for clothing or rugs.’
    • ‘The animal left a large paw print in mud near houses at Beaumont Chase yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘Ian remembered him best lying in his basket beneath the kitchen table, paws clawing sleepily at his pale blue blanket.’
    • ‘The pads on the lions' paws make very comfortable velvet cushions for them to rest their heads on.’
    • ‘The feet of the throne are modeled after large catlike paws without claws.’
    • ‘With a grimace, Olivia glares down at her suit jacket, rubbing the wet paw marks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A white cat with bright eyes was curled upon the doorstep, meticulously licking its little paws.’
    • ‘Access to water is always recommended, as is staying off the asphalt, which can burn an animal's paws.’
    • ‘An irritant was injected into the left hind paw of the pups to induce swelling.’
    • ‘I picked her up and, sure enough, all four paws were wet.’
    • ‘After the terrier cornered the rat, all Padlin saw was a commotion of claws, paws, and teeth.’
    • ‘The mastiff began licking its paw, not taking its eyes from us.’
    • ‘The cat looked up from its toys and stretched out its paws to claw at the ragged arm of an old chair.’
    • ‘Suddenly he sat down and started licking his paws, a portrait of innocence.’
    • ‘The bear's expression darkened as he grumpily stood up on all four paws.’
    • ‘The dog had placed both front paws on her shoulders, knocking her down onto the grass of Hamilton Park.’
    • ‘She strode up to the cat's right front paw, and began to stroke it.’
    • ‘Nontoxic ink was applied to the front and hind paws of each animal to allow for later analysis of locomotor activity.’
    • ‘The river has chiselled the mountain face, making it resemble a lion's paw.’
    foot, pad
    forepaw, hind paw
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal A person's hand:
      ‘the Internet is the easiest way to get your paws on mucky pictures’
      • ‘Get your filthy little paws on CD-ROMs featuring these sirens of British media culture.’
      • ‘The filthy maggot has his paws all over her prized weapon!’
      • ‘Don't just read a recipe book, read as many books as you can get your grubby paws on.’
      • ‘You opened up the fridge and pulled out every piece of meat you can get your little paws on.’
      • ‘Want to stop boosters from getting their greasy, grubby paws on the game?’
      • ‘'Get your filthy paws off her,' I think as anger sweeps through my body but it is shortly replaced with a desire.’
      • ‘Her paws were tied palm to palm, with not only a rope around her wrist, but with string binding finger to finger as well.’
      • ‘At once he stepped forward to proffer his filthy paw.’
      • ‘Jimmy dropped his rifle and held his paws over his ears as he rolled around on the grass.’
      • ‘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.’
      fist, palm
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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’
    • ‘Jonah saw several of the creatures pawing at the air and shaking their heads.’
    • ‘The horse snorted, pawing the loosely packed dirt in the stable aisle.’
    • ‘The units are smoothly animated both in combat and when just standing around, as horses paw the ground and archers play with their bows.’
    • ‘The glorious creature pawed the ground with it's silver hooves and snorted deep of the cold air.’
    • ‘The blood bay stallion was pawing through the snow to the little thatches of dead grass below.’
    • ‘She reared, pawing at the air, and slammed her hooves to earth, panting.’
    • ‘Juno looked around and saw that Riddle was right, for the two horses were pawing at the ground in agitation.’
    • ‘Horses pawed the ground anxiously as the warriors gathered.’
    • ‘Two fine, brown horses anxiously pawed at the cobblestone as Julius lent his hand to help me in.’
    • ‘The kitten merely pawed at his chest, trying to find the source of the rumbling.’
    • ‘Silverwing looked away, her hooves pawing nervously at the ground.’
    • ‘Her whole body is shaking in anger, and reminds me of a bull pawing the ground before it charges.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She fell backwards, laughing hysterically as the kittens pawed at her nose and tugged on her hair.’
    • ‘Kat peaked through her closed eye lids to see a little black kitten pawing at her feet.’
    • ‘He looked about through the chilled air, pawing at the moist earth beneath him.’
    • ‘The bull pawed the ground and tossed his mighty horns.’
    • ‘Mesa cringed, as the strong creature pawed the water and rocks nervously.’
    • ‘She faced it as it began to paw at the ground and lower its head to charge.’
    1. 1.1informal (of a person) touch or handle clumsily or lasciviously:
      ‘some overweight Casanova had tried to paw her’
      • ‘We drive into town quick for something and return to find neighbors pawing through the stuff, thinking it was a yard sale.’
      • ‘Before I left the house today, I pawed through a box for some old unused show prep from the Diner days.’
      • ‘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'm there often, greedily pawing their goods, and adding things constantly to my wish list.’
      • ‘Desdemona locks it, then begins pawing the mirror.’
      • ‘Yes, I'm aware they are online but I like to go in and paw the merchandise.’
      • ‘He was pawing playfully with one of her dangly earrings.’
      • ‘Now all three of my best friends are pawing through my underwear.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Kassa sat on the sofa nervously twiddling her thumbs; Vlad sat beside her lazily pawing her hair.’
      • ‘I didn't stop pawing through my bag in search of Kleenex but looked up from my seat on the bench.’
      • ‘She was pawing at the camera and seemed oblivious to it all.’
      • ‘I wasn't about to let people go around pawing a holy artifact like it was just any old piece of junk.’
      • ‘I was slowly going mad with joy and trying my best to keep looking normal, pawing a CD every now and then.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She zipped open the duffel bag, pawing through it.’
      • ‘We killed time here and there, and I found myself in a store pawing through the sale shirts.’
      • ‘I wanted something aggressive; I began pawing through my CDs.’
      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/