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cathode the positive terminal of a battery. (Cf. anode.)
cathode ray a stream of electrons emitted by a cathode in a vacuum tube.
cathode-ray tube a vacuum tube in which a stream of electrons is accelerated and focused in a beam that produces lighted traces on a screen at one end of the tube, used in television sets, computer monitors, and the like.
catholic all-encompassing or wide-ranging. [3 definitions]
Catholicism the theological and moral doctrines, the faith, and the ecclesiastical practices of the Roman Catholic Church.
catholicity the quality or state of being broad-minded or of having a wide range of ideas or tastes. [2 definitions]
catholicize to make universal or general. [2 definitions]
cation an ion with a positive charge. (Cf. anion.)
catkin a dense, drooping cluster of small flowers growing in rows on a spike, as on a willow tree.
catnap a brief, light sleep; doze. [2 definitions]
catnip a downy, strongly scented plant of the mint family that is attractive to cats.
cat-o'-nine-tails a whip with nine knotted cords or lines attached to a handle, formerly used for flogging, esp. to discipline naval crewmen aboard ship.
cat rig one large sail on a mast set well forward in the bow, as of a catboat.
CAT scan a cross-sectional image formed by a computerized combination of x-rays taken along a selected axis of the body, used as a diagnostic tool in medical treatment; computerized axial tomography scan.
cat's cradle a children's game in which a looped string is passed back and forth from the fingers of one player to those of the other so as to form a series of intricate patterns.
cat's-eye any of various gemstones or pieces of glass that reflect light so as to suggest a cat's eye.
cat's-paw a person exploited by another as a tool or dupe, esp. to do something illegal or risky. [2 definitions]
catsup a variant of ketchup.
cattail any of several tall, reedlike marsh plants with tiny brown flowers growing in dense rows on a cylindrical spike.
cattalo see beefalo.
cattish resembling a cat; feline. [2 definitions]