cat and mouse


cat and mouse
1. Also called cat and rat. a children's game in which players in a circle keep a player from moving into or out of the circle and permit a second player to move into or out of the circle to escape the pursuing first player.
2. Western U.S. tick-tack-toe (def. 1).
3. play cat and mouse, to engage in a gamelike relationship in which evasion and pursuit are used: They played cat and mouse for a while before she consented to go out with him.
4. play cat and mouse with,
a. to toy or trifle with.
b. to use strategy on one's opponent, esp. while waiting to strike: The detective played cat and mouse with the suspect.
[1910-15]

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cat-and-mouse — [kat΄ n mous′] adj. Informal of or designating behavior like that of a cat toying with a mouse; specif., of or designating a strategy by which one repeatedly challenges an opponent while waiting to strike * * * cat and mouse (kătʹn mousʹ) adj. 1 …   Universalium

  • Cat and mouse — Cat and mouse, often expressed as cat and mouse game, is an English language idiom dating back to 1675 that means a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes. cite web |url=http://www.merriam… …   Wikipedia

  • cat and mouse — noun uncount a situation in which you let someone else believe that they have managed to escape, before you actually catch them: a game of cat and mouse play cat and mouse (with someone): Dora knew the detective was playing cat and mouse with her …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cat-and-mouse — [kat΄ n mous′] adj. Informal of or designating behavior like that of a cat toying with a mouse; specif., of or designating a strategy by which one repeatedly challenges an opponent while waiting to strike …   English World dictionary

  • cat and mouse — noun a game for children in which the players form a circle and join hands; they raise their hands to let a player inside the circle or lower their hands to bar a second player who is chasing the first • Syn: ↑cat and rat • Hypernyms: ↑child s… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cat-and-mouse — | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷ adjective 1. : consisting of constant torment prior to destruction or defeat the cat and mouse technique of handling an opponent 2. : consisting of constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes a … cat and mouse kind of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cat and mouse — UK / US noun [uncountable] a situation in which you let someone else believe that they have managed to escape, before you actually catch them a game of cat and mouse play cat and mouse (with someone): Dora knew the detective was playing cat and… …   English dictionary

  • cat and mouse — noun Date: 1675 behavior like that of a cat with a mouse: as a. the act of toying with or tormenting something before destroying it b. a contrived action involving constant pursuit, near captures, and repeated escapes < played a game of cat and… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cat and mouse — noun 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… …   Wiktionary

  • cat and mouse — Cockney Rhyming Slang House Went round to his cat to wake him up …   English dialects glossary


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