Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The foot of an animal, especially a quadruped, that has claws or nails.
  • noun Informal A human hand, especially a large clumsy one.
  • intransitive verb To feel or strike with the paw or paws.
  • intransitive verb To strike or scrape with a beating motion.
  • intransitive verb To touch or handle clumsily or roughly.
  • intransitive verb To feel or touch (another) in an annoying or unwanted way. synonym: touch.
  • intransitive verb To scrape the ground with the forefeet.
  • intransitive verb To handle someone or something clumsily, rudely, or with too much familiarity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A trick.
  • noun The hand or foot of an animal which has nails or claws: distinguished from hoof: as, a monkey's paw; the paws of a cat, dog, rat, etc. In many animals the fore feet, and in some the hind feet, are prehensile, and serviceable as hands.
  • noun The human hand, especially when large or coarse, or when awkwardly used.
  • To secure or stop the motion of (a capstan, windlass, or ratchet-wheel) with a pawl.
  • To draw the fore foot along the ground; scrape with the fore foot.
  • To scrape with the fore foot; strike with a drawing or scraping action of the fore foot.
  • To handle roughly or clumsily, as with paws.Johnson.
  • To fawn upon, as a spaniel upon his master.
  • Improper; nasty; obscene.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The foot of a quadruped having claws, as the lion, dog, cat, etc.
  • noun Jocose The hand.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the tridacna; -- so called because shaped like an animal's paw.
  • transitive verb To pass the paw over; to stroke or handle with the paws; hence, to handle fondly or rudely.
  • transitive verb To scrape or beat with the forefoot.
  • intransitive verb To draw the forefoot along the ground; to beat or scrape with the forefoot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb of an animal To go through something (such as a garbage can) with paws
  • verb of an animal To gently push on something with a paw.
  • verb by extension, of a human To touch someone (with the hands) in a sexual way.
  • verb by extension, of a human To clumsily dig through something.
  • noun The soft foot of a mammal or other animal, generally a quadruped, that has claws or nails; comparable to a human hand or foot.
  • noun Father; pa.

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

  • verb touch clumsily
  • noun the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb
  • verb scrape with the paws
  • noun a clawed foot of an animal especially a quadruped

Etymologies

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

[Middle English pawe, from Old French powe.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The word probably has an origin in baby talk: see ‘pa’.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the noun paw, meaning an animal's hand or foot.

Examples

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