while the cat's away, the mice will play - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “while the cat's away, the mice will play”

while the cat's away, the mice will play

saying
said when the person who is in charge of a place is not there, and the people there behave badly
(Definition of while the cat's away, the mice will play from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

extra time

a period of time in a sports game in which play continues if neither team has won in the usual time allowed for the game

Word of the Day

She’s got very good posture. (How we stand and sit)

by Liz Walter,
May 27, 2015
Recently on this blog, we looked at the words that we use to describe the way we move. This week we’re looking at words for describing our bodies when they are still, whether we are standing or sitting. Since most of us do far too much of this, let’s start with sitting.

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More