Cat of nine tails

cat-o'-nine-tails

[kat-uh-nahyn-teylz]
noun, plural cat-o'-nine-tails.
a whip, usually having nine knotted lines or cords fastened to a handle, used for flogging.

Origin:
1685–95; so called in allusion to a cat's scratches

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cat of nine tails
Collins
World English Dictionary
cat-o'-nine-tails
 
n , pl -tails
Often shortened to: cat a rope whip consisting of nine knotted thongs, used formerly to flog prisoners

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature