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catgut

[kat-guht] /ˈkætˌgʌt/
noun
1.
a strong cord made by twisting the dried intestines of animals, as sheep, used in stringing musical instruments and tennis rackets, for surgical sutures, etc.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; apparently cat1 + gut, though allusion is obscure
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for catgut

catgut

/ˈkætˌɡʌt/
noun
1.
a strong cord made from the dried intestines of sheep and other animals that is used for stringing certain musical instruments and sports rackets, and, when sterilized, as surgical ligatures Often shortened to gut
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for catgut
n.

1590s, altered from kitgut, probably from obsolete kit (n.2) "fiddle" + gut (n.). It was made from the intestines of sheep.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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catgut in Medicine

catgut cat·gut (kāt'gŭt')
n.
A tough, thin cord made from the treated and stretched intestines of certain animals, especially sheep, and used for surgical ligatures.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for catgut

tough cord made from the intestines of certain animals, particularly sheep, and used for surgical ligatures and sutures, for the strings of violins and related instruments, and for the strings of tennis rackets and archery bows. The ancient Egyptians and Babylonians and the later Greeks and Romans used the intestines of herbivorous animals for much the same purposes. The origin of the term catgut is obscure; it is not known if the intestines of cats were ever put to such uses.

Learn more about catgut with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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