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Definition paw

Etymology 1

From Middle English pawe, from Old French poue, poe, from Frankish *pōta (compare Dutch poot, Low German Pote, German Pfote), from Frankish *pōtōn (“to put, stick, plant”) (compare Dutch poten 'to plant'), from Proto-Germanic *putōną (compare Old English potian (“to push”), pȳtan (“to put out, poke out”), Icelandic pota (“to stick”), Albanian putër 'paw'). More at put.

Noun

paw (plural paws)

  1. The soft foot of a mammal or other animal, generally a quadruped, that has claws or nails; comparable to a human hand or foot.
  2. (humorous) A hand.
Verb

paw (third-person singular simple present paws, present participle pawing, simple past and past participle pawed)

  1. (of an animal) To go through something (such as a garbage can) with paws.
  2. (of an animal) To gently push on something with a paw.
  3. (of an animal) To draw the forefoot along the ground; to beat or scrape with the forefoot.
  4. (by extension, of a human) To touch someone (with the hands) in a sexual way.
  5. (by extension, of a human) To clumsily dig through something.
  6. (transitive, dated) To flatter.

Etymology 2

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

Noun

paw (plural paws)

  1. (nonstandard or rural) Father; pa.

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