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  1. a set or collection of tools, supplies, instructional matter, etc., for a specific purpose: a first-aid kit; a sales kit.
  2. the case for containing these.
  3. such a case and its contents.
  4. a set of materials or parts from which something can be assembled: a model car made from a kit.
  5. Informal. a set, lot, or collection of things or persons.
  6. a wooden tub, pail, etc., usually circular.
  7. Chiefly British. a costume or outfit of clothing, especially for a specific purpose: ski kit; dancing kit; battle kit.
verb (used with object), kit·ted, kit·ting.
  1. to package or make available in a kit: a new model airplane that has just been kitted for the hobbyist.
  2. Chiefly British. to outfit or equip (often followed by out or up).
  1. kit and caboodle/boodle, Informal. the whole lot of persons or things; all of something (often preceded by whole): We took along the whole kit and caboodle in the station wagon.

Origin of kit1

1325–75; Middle English kyt, kitt < Middle Dutch kitte jug, tankard


  1. a violin or rebec small enough to be carried in the pocket, used by dancing masters in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Origin of kit2

First recorded in 1510–20; origin uncertain
Also called pochette, sourdine.


  1. kitten.
  2. a young fox, beaver, or other small furbearing animal.

Origin of kit3

First recorded in 1555–65; shortened form


  1. a male given name, form of Christopher.
  2. a female given name, form of Catherine or Katherine.


[kahr-suh n]
  1. ChristopherKit, 1809–68, U.S. frontiersman and scout.
  2. Sir Edward HenryBaron Carson, 1854–1935, Irish public official.
  3. Johnny,1925–2005, U.S. television entertainer.
  4. Rachel Louise,1907–1964, U.S. marine biologist and author.
  5. a city in SW California.
  6. a river in N California and NW Nevada, flowing NE to the Carson Sink. 150 miles (241 km) long.
  7. a male or female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for kit


  1. a set of tools, supplies, construction materials, etc, for use together or for a purposea first-aid kit; a model aircraft kit
  2. the case or container for such a set
    1. a set of pieces of equipment ready to be assembled
    2. (as modifier)kit furniture
    1. clothing and other personal effects, esp those of a traveller or soldiersafari kit; battle kit
    2. informalclothing in general (esp in the phrase get one's kit off)
  3. NZ a flax basket
  4. the whole kit or the whole kit and caboodle informal everything or everybody
See also kit out

Word Origin

C14: from Middle Dutch kitte tankard


  1. a kind of small violin, now obsolete, used esp by dancing masters in the 17th–18th centuries

Word Origin

C16: of unknown origin


  1. an informal or diminutive name for kitten
  2. a cub of various small mammals, such as the ferret or fox

Word Origin

C16: by shortening


  1. NZ a plaited flax basket

Word Origin

from Māori kete


abbreviation for
  1. keep in touch


  1. Christopher, known as Kit Carson. 1809–68, US frontiersman, trapper, scout, and Indian agent
  2. Edward Henry, Baron. 1854–1935, Anglo-Irish politician and lawyer; led northern Irish resistance to the British government's plan for home rule for Ireland
  3. Rachel (Louise). 1907–64, US marine biologist and science writer; author of Silent Spring (1962)
  4. Willie, full name William Hunter Fisher Carson. born 1942, Scottish jockey: rode four winners in the Derby (1979, 1980, 1989, 1994)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for kit


late 13c., "round wooden tub," perhaps from Middle Dutch kitte "jug, tankard, wooden container," of unknown origin. Meaning "collection of personal effects," especially for traveling (originally in reference to a soldier), is from 1785; that of "outfit of tools for a workman" is from 1851. Of drum sets, by 1929. Meaning "article to be assembled by the buyer" is from 1930s.


"small fiddle used by dancing teachers," 1510s, probably a shortening of Old English cythere, from Latin cithara, from Greek kithara (see guitar).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

kit in Science


  1. American marine biologist and writer whose best-known book, Silent Spring (1962), was an influential study of the dangerous effects of synthetic pesticides on food chains. Public reaction to the book resulted in stricter controls on pesticide use and shaped the ideas of the modern environmental movement.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.