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A cat-o'-nine-tails.

EtymologyEdit

From cat +‎ of +‎ nine +‎ tails; attested since 1695.

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

NounEdit

cat-o’-nine-tails (plural cats-o'-nine-tails)

  1. (nautical) A whip having nine, often knotted, whipcords, formerly used for flogging as naval punishment. [from late 17th c.]
    • 1695, William Congreve, Love for Love:
      If you should give such language at sea, you'd have a cat-o’-nine-tails laid cross your shoulders.
  2. A similarly constructed leather nine-tail whip, as used in British penal colonies and certain armies.

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit