1. [syn: fisher, pekan, fisher cat, black cat, Martes pennanti]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Black \Black\ (bl[a^]k), a. [OE. blak, AS. bl[ae]c; akin to
Icel. blakkr dark, swarthy, Sw. bl[aum]ck ink, Dan. bl[ae]k,
OHG. blach, LG. & D. blaken to burn with a black smoke. Not
akin to AS. bl[=a]c, E. bleak pallid. [root]98.]
1. Destitute of light, or incapable of reflecting it; of the
color of soot or coal; of the darkest or a very dark
color, the opposite of white; characterized by such a
color; as, black cloth; black hair or eyes.
O night, with hue so black! --Shak.
2. In a less literal sense: Enveloped or shrouded in
darkness; very dark or gloomy; as, a black night; the
heavens black with clouds.
I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud.
3. Fig.: Dismal, gloomy, or forbidding, like darkness;
destitute of moral light or goodness; atrociously wicked;
cruel; mournful; calamitous; horrible. "This day's black
fate." "Black villainy." "Arise, black vengeance." "Black
day." "Black despair." --Shak.
4. Expressing menace, or discontent; threatening; sullen;
foreboding; as, to regard one with black looks.
Note: Black is often used in self-explaining compound words;
as, black-eyed, black-faced, black-haired,
Black act, the English statute 9 George I, which makes it a
felony to appear armed in any park or warren, etc., or to
hunt or steal deer, etc., with the face blackened or
disguised. Subsequent acts inflicting heavy penalties for
malicious injuries to cattle and machinery have been
called black acts.
Black angel (Zool.), a fish of the West Indies and Florida
(Holacanthus tricolor), with the head and tail yellow,
and the middle of the body black.
Black antimony (Chem.), the black sulphide of antimony,
Sb2S3, used in pyrotechnics, etc.
Black bear (Zool.), the common American bear (Ursus
Black beast. See B[^e]te noire.
Black beetle (Zool.), the common large cockroach (Blatta
Black bonnet (Zool.), the black-headed bunting (Embriza
Sch[oe]niclus) of Europe.
Black canker, a disease in turnips and other crops,
produced by a species of caterpillar.
Black cat (Zool.), the fisher, a quadruped of North America
allied to the sable, but larger. See Fisher.
Black cattle, any bovine cattle reared for slaughter, in
distinction from dairy cattle. [Eng.]
Black cherry. See under Cherry.
Black cockatoo (Zool.), the palm cockatoo. See Cockatoo.
Black copper. Same as Melaconite.
Black currant. (Bot.) See Currant.
Black diamond. (Min.) See Carbonado.
Black draught (Med.), a cathartic medicine, composed of
senna and magnesia.
Black drop (Med.), vinegar of opium; a narcotic preparation
consisting essentially of a solution of opium in vinegar.
Black earth, mold; earth of a dark color. --Woodward.
Black flag, the flag of a pirate, often bearing in white a
skull and crossbones; a signal of defiance.
Black flea (Zool.), a flea beetle (Haltica nemorum)
injurious to turnips.
Black flux, a mixture of carbonate of potash and charcoal,
obtained by deflagrating tartar with half its weight of
niter. --Brande & C.
Black Forest [a translation of G. Schwarzwald], a forest in
Baden and W["u]rtemburg, in Germany; a part of the ancient
Black game, or Black grouse. (Zool.) See Blackcock,
Grouse, and Heath grouse.
Black grass (Bot.), a grasslike rush of the species Juncus
Gerardi, growing on salt marshes, and making good hay.
Black gum (Bot.), an American tree, the tupelo or
pepperidge. See Tupelo.
Black Hamburg (grape) (Bot.), a sweet and juicy variety of
dark purple or "black" grape.
Black horse (Zool.), a fish of the Mississippi valley
(Cycleptus elongatus), of the sucker family; the
Black lemur (Zool.), the Lemurniger of Madagascar; the
acoumbo of the natives.
Black list, a list of persons who are for some reason
thought deserving of censure or punishment; -- esp. a list
of persons stigmatized as insolvent or untrustworthy, made
for the protection of tradesmen or employers. See
Blacklist, v. t.
Black manganese (Chem.), the black oxide of manganese,
Black Maria, the close wagon in which prisoners are carried
to or from jail.
Black martin (Zool.), the chimney swift. See Swift.
Black moss (Bot.), the common so-called long moss of the
southern United States. See Tillandsia.
Black oak. See under Oak.
Black ocher. See Wad.
Black pigment, a very fine, light carbonaceous substance,
or lampblack, prepared chiefly for the manufacture of
printers' ink. It is obtained by burning common coal tar.
Black plate, sheet iron before it is tinned. --Knight.
Black quarter, malignant anthrax with engorgement of a
shoulder or quarter, etc., as of an ox.
Black rat (Zool.), one of the species of rats (Mus
rattus), commonly infesting houses.
Black rent. See Blackmail, n., 3.
Black rust, a disease of wheat, in which a black, moist
matter is deposited in the fissures of the grain.
Black sheep, one in a family or company who is unlike the
rest, and makes trouble.
Black silver. (Min.) See under Silver.
Black and tan, black mixed or spotted with tan color or
reddish brown; -- used in describing certain breeds of
Black tea. See under Tea.
Black tin (Mining), tin ore (cassiterite), when dressed,
stamped and washed, ready for smelting. It is in the form
of a black powder, like fine sand. --Knight.
Black walnut. See under Walnut.
Black warrior (Zool.), an American hawk (Buteo Harlani).
Syn: Dark; murky; pitchy; inky; somber; dusky; gloomy; swart;
Cimmerian; ebon; atrocious.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
cat \cat\ (k[a^]t), n. [AS. cat; akin to D. & Dan. kat, Sw.
katt, Icel. k["o]ttr, G. katze, kater, Ir. cat, W. cath,
Armor. kaz, LL. catus, Bisc. catua, NGr. ga`ta, ga`tos, Russ.
& Pol. kot, Turk. kedi, Ar. qitt; of unknown origin. Cf.
1. (Zool.) Any animal belonging to the natural family
Felidae, and in particular to the various species of the
genera Felis, Panthera, and Lynx. The domestic cat
is Felis domestica. The European wild cat (Felis
catus) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the
United States the name wild cat is commonly applied to
the bay lynx (Lynx rufus). The larger felines, such as
the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred
to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See Wild cat, and
[1913 Webster +PJC]
Note: The domestic cat includes many varieties named from
their place of origin or from some peculiarity; as, the
Angora cat; the Maltese cat; the Manx cat; the
Laying aside their often rancorous debate over
how best to preserve the Florida panther, state
and federal wildlife officials,
environmentalists, and independent scientists
endorsed the proposal, and in 1995 the eight cats
[female Texas cougars] were brought from Texas
and released. . . .
Uprooted from the arid hills of West Texas, three
of the imports have died, but the remaining five
adapted to swamp life and have each given birth
to at least one litter of kittens. --Mark Derr
(N. Y. Times,
Nov. 2, 1999,
Note: The word cat is also used to designate other animals,
from some fancied resemblance; as, civet cat, fisher
cat, catbird, catfish shark, sea cat.
(a) A strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting
quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal
and timber trade.
(b) A strong tackle used to draw an anchor up to the
cathead of a ship. --Totten.
3. A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six
feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever
position it is placed.
4. An old game; specifically:
(a) The game of tipcat and the implement with which it is
played. See Tipcat.
(b) A game of ball, called, according to the number of
batters, one old cat, two old cat, etc.
5. same as cat o' nine tails; as, British sailors feared
[1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]
6. A catamaran.
Angora cat, blind cat, See under Angora, Blind.
Black cat the fisher. See under Black.
Cat and dog, like a cat and dog; quarrelsome; inharmonious.
"I am sure we have lived a cat and dog life of it."
Cat block (Naut.), a heavy iron-strapped block with a large
hook, part of the tackle used in drawing an anchor up to
Cat hook (Naut.), a strong hook attached to a cat block.
Cat nap, a very short sleep. [Colloq.]
Cat o' nine tails, an instrument of punishment consisting
of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a
handle; -- formerly used to flog offenders on the bare
Cat's cradle, game played, esp. by children, with a string
looped on the fingers so, as to resemble small cradle. The
string is transferred from the fingers of one to those of
another, at each transfer with a change of form. See
Cratch, Cratch cradle.
To bell the cat, to perform a very dangerous or very
difficult task; -- taken metaphorically from a fable about
a mouse who proposes to put a bell on a cat, so as to be
able to hear the cat coming.
To let the cat out of the bag, to tell a secret, carelessly
or willfully. [Colloq.]
Bush cat, the serval. See Serval.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: large dark brown North American arboreal carnivorous mammal
[syn: fisher, pekan, fisher cat, black cat, Martes