- Paw is defined as the hand or the foot of a four-legged animal.
An example of a paw is a cat's foot.
- Paw means to touch or hit something, often in a clumsy or rough way.
An example of paw is for a cat to keep hitting a stream of water with her foot.
A cat raises her paw.
- the foot of a four-footed animal having claws
- Informal a hand
Origin of pawMiddle English paue ; from Old French poue ; from Frankish an unverified form pauta, a paw (; from pre-Celt an unverified form pauta) from source German pfote
- to touch, dig, hit, strike out (at), etc. with the paws or feet: a horse pawing the air
- to handle clumsily or roughly: she pawed angrily through the papers on her desk
- to caress in too familiar a way
- The foot of an animal, especially a quadruped, that has claws or nails.
- Informal A human hand, especially a large clumsy one: “Lennie dabbled his big paw in the water” (John Steinbeck).
verbpawed, paw·ing, paws
- To feel or strike with the paw or paws.
- To strike or scrape with a beating motion: The bull pawed the ground before charging.
- a. To touch or handle clumsily or roughly.b. To feel or touch (another) in an annoying or unwanted way. See Synonyms at touch.
- To scrape the ground with the forefeet: The horse pawed restlessly.
- To handle someone or something clumsily, rudely, or with too much familiarity: Don't paw at everything you see.
Origin of pawMiddle English pawe, from Old French powe.
- possibly German Pfote
- cat's paw
Middle English pawe, from Old French poue, poe, from Old Low Franconian *pōta (compare Dutch poot, Low German Pote, German Pfote), from *pōton 'to put, stick, plant' (compare Dutch poten 'to plant'), from Proto-Germanic *putōną (compare Old English potian 'to push', pȳtan 'to put out, poke out', Icelandic pota 'to stick', Albanian putër 'paw'), Ancient Greek "πους". More at put.
(third-person singular simple present paws, present participle pawing, simple past and past participle pawed)
- (of an animal) To go through something (such as a garbage can) with paws
- (of an animal) To gently push on something with a paw.
- (of an animal) To draw the forefoot along the ground; to beat or scrape with the forefoot.
- (by extension, of a human) To touch someone (with the hands) in a sexual way.
- (by extension, of a human) To clumsily dig through something.
From the noun paw, meaning an animal's hand or foot.