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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

paw1

[paw] /pɔ/
noun
1.
the foot of an animal having claws.
2.
the foot of any animal.
3.
Informal. the human hand, especially one that is large, rough, or clumsy:
Keep your paws off my property.
verb (used with object)
4.
to strike or scrape with the paws or feet:
a dog pawing the door.
5.
Informal. to handle or caress clumsily, rudely, or with unwelcome familiarity.
verb (used without object)
6.
to beat or scrape the floor, ground, etc., with the paws or feet.
7.
Informal. to handle or caress someone or something in a clumsy or rude manner or with unwelcome familiarity.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English pawe, variant of powe < Middle French poue (cognate with Provençal pauta) < Germanic; compare Dutch poot, German Pfote
Related forms
pawer, noun
unpawed, adjective
Can be confused
paw, poor, pore.
pause, paws, pores, pours.

paw2

[paw] /pɔ/
noun, Informal.
1.
father; pa.
Origin
1900-05, Americanism; earlier and dial. pronunciation of pa, reflecting the now lapsed constraint against a maximally open back vowel in an open stressed final syllable
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for paws
  • And, as you can tell from the photos, it is surviving the mastiff's giant paws quite nicely.
  • Samantha's face and paws protrude from the cutout door.
  • Treatment strengthened weak paws without causing cancer.
  • In all three types of injury, normal mice became much more sensitive to wires poking their paws, quickly flicking the wires away.
  • They show many traits of wildcat-ness: large size, tips and tufts in their ears, tufted paws.
  • The bear had the polar bear's white fur but a bigger head, brown paws and longer claws more typical of a grizzly bear.
  • Many, many years ago a study was done where the paws of dogs were nailed down while their chests were cut open.
  • Yet it is not entirely clear whether such cats'-paws will be put to the same uses.
  • It is said that when a bear is deprived of food, it sustains life by sucking its paws.
  • He waited to split a chestnut in two and to put the halves upon his paws.
British Dictionary definitions for paws

paw

/pɔː/
noun
1.
any of the feet of a four-legged mammal, bearing claws or nails
2.
(informal) a hand, esp one that is large, clumsy, etc
verb
3.
to scrape or contaminate with the paws or feet
4.
(transitive) (informal) to touch or caress in a clumsy, rough, or overfamiliar manner; maul
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Germanic; related to Middle Dutch pōte, German Pfote
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for paws

paw

n.

c.1300, from Old French powe, poe "paw, fist," of uncertain origin. Evidence points to a Gallo-Romance root form *pauta which probably is related to the source of patten.

v.

"use the hands roughly," c.1600, from paw (n.). Related: Pawed; pawing. Middle English had pawen "to touch or strike with the paw" (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for paws

paw

noun

A hand: You let me get my paws on the money (1605+)

verb

To touch and handle, esp in a crude sexual way (1701+)

Related Terms

northpaw, southpaw


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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9
10
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