Definitions

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Etymologies

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Examples

  • The catspaw was a guileless artist, whom Burton has tempted to take a directorship in his bank when the latter was about to break, he himself retiring in time.

    Lippincott's Magazine, Volume 11, No. 26, May, 1873

  • The breeze proved only what sailors call a catspaw, rising no higher than just to cause a ripple on the water, and lasting only about an hour.

    The Ocean Waifs A Story of Adventure on Land and Sea

  • -- The gloomy prognostications of last night were not fulfilled, as the wind died away again, and we are lying now in a long greasy swell, ruffled here and there by a fleeting catspaw which is insufficient to fill the sails.

    The Captain of the Polestar and other Tales

  • Those are two primary areas of legal corruption: first is maneuvering someone you control into a government job, and second is getting your catspaw to make decisions that bring economic benefit, either for your friends, your campaign committee, or clients you are paid to represent.

    Henry J. Stern: Perverted Justice

  • Poland was so big and powerful in the 1500s, Russia for example was its catspaw during this time, that it took 200+ years to work out how terminally awful its government was.

    Matthew Yglesias » Endgame

  • And you have answered your question often enough and to your satisfaction, "In itself it is worth nothing, being but the catspaw to scheming forces."

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • The fisherman counts for nothing; but I shall be no catspaw to their schemes.

    Chapter 17

  • Rome, the catspaw in the matter of their religious dissensions.

    Chapter 17

  • Whereas before he had been disinclined to execute because he would not be made a catspaw to Hanan, he was now disinclined to execute because of regard for the fisherman.

    Chapter 17

  • And I'm not a catspaw for organized labor, which is opposing the tax.

    Art Levine: DC's Excise Tax Cult Battles Unions, Critical Research and Taxing the Rich

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Comments

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  • A person used by another as a dupe or tool. (from WordCraft)

    May 20, 2008

  • Anyone know what this means in a rhetorical context? (Hey, I'm actually using Wordie to learn something specific!)

    February 18, 2008