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Cheshire cat

a constantly grinning cat in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
grin like a Cheshire cat, to smile or grin inscrutably. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cheshire-cat
Historical Examples
  • Leila relaxed exaggeratedly in her chair, her cheshire-cat smile predominating her features.

  • Alice was a little startled by seeing the cheshire-cat sitting on a bough of a tree a few yards off.

    Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
  • But on the cheshire-cat hypothesis, the social problem can never be solved, because it is not a real problem at all.

    The Behavior of Crowds Everett Dean Martin
Contemporary definitions for cheshire-cat

a cat with a broad grin, esp. fictitious

Word Origin

from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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cheshire-cat in Culture
Cheshire cat [(chesh-uhr)]

A cat with an enormous grin encountered by Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. The cat tends to disappear, leaving only its smile hanging in the air.

Note: “Smiling like a Cheshire cat” refers to anyone with a conspicuous and long-lasting smile.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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