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English definition of “cat-o'-nine-tails”

cat-o'-nine-tails

noun [S]     /ˌkæt.əˈnaɪn.teɪlz/ US  /ˌkæt̬-/ (informal cat)
a whip (= a long, thin device for hitting) made from rope that has nine ends, that was used especially in the past for hitting people to punish themPunishing by causing painHitting and beatingPunishing and punishments
(Definition of cat-o'-nine-tails noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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