Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cat.
  • n. A girl or young woman.
  • n. Slang The mouth.
  • n. Slang The human face.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cat.
  • n. A girl or young woman.
  • n. A hare.
  • n. pussy; vagina
  • n. The mouth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cat; -- a fondling appellation.
  • n. A hare; -- so called by sportsmen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cat; a pussy or pussy-cat.
  • n. A hare or rabbit.
  • n. A puss-moth.
  • n. A pet name for a child or young woman.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. obscene terms for female genitals
  • n. informal terms referring to a domestic cat

Etymologies

Probably of Germanic origin.
Irish Gaelic pus, mouth, from Middle Irish bus, lip.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From a Common Germanic word for cat. Akin to Dutch poes "puss, cat", Low German puus-katte, dialectal Swedish kattepus, Norwegian pus. (Wiktionary)
Of Celtic origin, from or akin to Irish pus ("mouth, lip"), from Middle Irish bus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pouty-mouth glamour puss is the favored female photo pose.

    Boing Boing: August 28, 2005 - September 3, 2005 Archives

  • A gooey mass of blood, byle and puss is not a baby you morons.

    Think Progress » Why Krauthammer Doesn’t Get It

  • I possess the odd cat-themed coffee mug and the stray back cat book mark, but you won't come to my home and spot any porcelain puss trinkets, Hello Kitty miscellany or Lilian Jackson Braun books.

    For I will consider my Cat Spainy, For she is the servant of the Living God...

  • All you spainy-cat fans, my own puss is also a maine-coon mix; they're a personable breed -- smart and friendly, and absolutely beautiful (as you all well know).

    HP rides again

  • It was something to affect that most people are wimps (he said the word puss with a y) and need guns to feel strong.

    LJWorld.com stories: News

  • "Her name was Sarah, so my husband always called puss the Sarah-cat," explained Aunt Jamesina.

    Anne of the Island

  • "Say, coot, lad, coot; don't chop your words short; sounds as if you were calling puss wi 'your cat."

    The Weathercock Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias

  • But this was also a book where "puss" leaks from one character's eyes, so maybe I shouldn't snatch at hopes that the copy-editing will improve.

    Don't knock it

  • The page titled "Nice puss/bad foot" is devoted to the photo of a nude woman laying down on a table, her foot has been blown off by a land mine, blood, muscle, skin and bone are dangling in its place, and her naked crotch is clearly visible in the photo (thus the reference to "puss").

    09/26/2005

  • It so happened that Drosoula had taken to calling Antonia 'puss', which was by no means uncommon nor unwarranted, and the name, in Greek 'Psipsina', had stuck and spread to Pelagia, until the girl had almost forgotten her real name.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin

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Comments

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  • "'And what the hell do you think I'm going to get for that?' Faxy would snarl, the smile withering from his puss."
    - Frank O'Connor, 'The Miser'.

    September 6, 2008