Share this entry

Share this page

when (or while) the cat's away, the mice will play

Definition of when or while the cat's away, the mice will play in English:

proverb People will naturally take advantage of the absence of someone in authority to do as they like: ‘His parents are away for the weekend.’ ‘I see—while the cat’s away.’
More example sentences
  • However, it rings true that when the cat's away, the mice will play,’ said Dronkers.
  • He left last night, straight from work, and as you know, while the cat's away, the mice will play.
  • It's certainly a case of while the cat's away, the mice will play - what they get up to is barely legal!
See parent entry: cat

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing