- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
to whip the cat
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Whip \Whip\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Whipped; p. pr. & vb. n. Whipping.] [OE. whippen to overlay, as a cord, with other cords, probably akin to G. & D. wippen to shake, to move up and down, Sw. vippa, Dan. vippe to swing to and fro, to shake, to toss up, and L. vibrare to shake. Cf. Vibrate.] [1913 Webster] 1. To strike with a lash, a cord, a rod, or anything slender and lithe; to lash; to beat; as, to whip a horse, or a carpet. [1913 Webster] 2. To drive with lashes or strokes of a whip; to cause to rotate by lashing with a cord; as, to whip a top. [1913 Webster] 3. To punish with a whip, scourge, or rod; to flog; to beat; as, to whip a vagrant; to whip one with thirty nine lashes; to whip a perverse boy. [1913 Webster] Who, for false quantities, was whipped at school. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 4. To apply that which hurts keenly to; to lash, as with sarcasm, abuse, or the like; to apply cutting language to. [1913 Webster] They would whip me with their fine wits. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 5. To thrash; to beat out, as grain, by striking; as, to whip wheat. [1913 Webster] 6. To beat (eggs, cream, or the like) into a froth, as with a whisk, fork, or the like. [1913 Webster] 7. To conquer; to defeat, as in a contest or game; to beat; to surpass. [Slang, U. S.] [1913 Webster] 8. To overlay (a cord, rope, or the like) with other cords going round and round it; to overcast, as the edge of a seam; to wrap; -- often with about, around, or over. [1913 Webster] Its string is firmly whipped about with small gut. --Moxon. [1913 Webster] 9. To sew lightly; specifically, to form (a fabric) into gathers by loosely overcasting the rolled edge and drawing up the thread; as, to whip a ruffle. [1913 Webster] In half-whipped muslin needles useless lie. --Gay. [1913 Webster] 10. To take or move by a sudden motion; to jerk; to snatch; -- with into, out, up, off, and the like. [1913 Webster] She, in a hurry, whips up her darling under her arm. --L'Estrange. [1913 Webster] He whips out his pocketbook every moment, and writes descriptions of everything he sees. --Walpole. [1913 Webster] 11. (Naut.) (a) To hoist or purchase by means of a whip. (b) To secure the end of (a rope, or the like) from untwisting by overcasting it with small stuff. [1913 Webster] 12. To fish (a body of water) with a rod and artificial fly, the motion being that employed in using a whip. [1913 Webster] Whipping their rough surface for a trout. --Emerson. [1913 Webster] To whip in, to drive in, or keep from scattering, as hounds in a hurt; hence, to collect, or to keep together, as member of a party, or the like. To whip the cat. (a) To practice extreme parsimony. [Prov. Eng.] --Forby. (b) To go from house to house working by the day, as itinerant tailors and carpenters do. [Prov. & U. S.] [1913 Webster] [1913 Webster]