- Playfully or teasingly cruel, as in prolonging the pain or torment of another: the cat-and-mouse tactics of the interrogators.
- Of or involving a suspenseful and sometimes alternating relation between hunter and hunted: “another cat-and-mouse thriller” ( New York Times )
- (idiomatic) suspenseful, involving alternating roles of attack and defence.
- Alternative form of cat and mouse.
- (idiomatic) A relationship in which two parties closely monitor and challenge one another in a suspicious or self-protective manner, often because each party is attempting to gain an advantage over the other.
- The Allied and the enemy submarine played a game of cat and mouse on checking up on each other's whereabouts and supposed strategic plans.
- The hackers played a cat and mouse game with the computer's system administrators: The hackers kept trying new tricks, and the system administrators kept mounting electronic defenses to prevent damage and catch the hackers.
- Often preceded by the verb play.