A paw is a four-legged animal’s foot. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and bears all have paws. Sharks? Not so much.

Most paws have claws and soft pads that cushion the animal’s legs as it walks. Cats’ paws have sharp, retractable claws, while dogs have hard, dull claws that don’t retract. There are also many animals with four legs that don’t have paws, like horses and lizards. If an animal paws you, it nudges or scrapes you with its paw. If a person paws you, they use their hands clumsily, almost as if they were paws.

Definitions of paw
  1. noun

    a clawed foot of an animal, especially a quadruped

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    front paw; analogous to the human hand

    terminal part of the forelimb in certain vertebrates (e.g. apes or kangaroos)
    type of:

    animal foot, foot

    the pedal extremity of vertebrates other than human beings

  2. noun

    the (prehensile) extremity of the superior limb

    hand, manus, mitt
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    show 4 types…
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    clenched fist, fist

    a hand with the fingers clenched in the palm (as for hitting)
    hooks, maulers, meat hooks

    large strong hand (as of a fighter)
    right, right hand

    the hand that is on the right side of the body
    left, left hand

    the hand that is on the left side of the body
    type of:


    that part of a limb that is farthest from the torso

  3. verb

    scrape with the paws

    “The bear
    pawed the door”
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    type of:

    grate, scrape

    scratch repeatedly

  4. verb

    touch clumsily

    “The man tried to
    paw her”
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    type of:

    caress, fondle

    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner

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