Slang a wealthy, influential person, specif. one who is a heavy contributor to a political party or campaign
- A person who is rich and influential.
- A wealthy supporter of a political campaign.
(plural fat cats)
- (slang) A rich person who contributes to a political campaign.
- (slang) Any affluent person who is perceived to have profited from the labour of others.
The phrase was first used in the 1920s in the United States to describe rich political donors.
- These capitalists have what the organisation needs - money to finance the campaign. These men are needed in political circles as 'Fat Cats'. - F.R. Kent, 1928
By the middle of the 20th century the term was being applied more widely to any wealthy individual.