Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[kit-n] /ˈkɪt n/
a young cat.
verb (used with or without object)
(of cats) to give birth; bear.
Origin of kitten
1350-1400; Middle English kitoun, apparently blend of kiteling kitling and Middle French chitoun, variant of chaton kitten
Related forms
kittenlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for kitten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Zoe trotted away with her head up, carrying the kitten very carefully lest her teeth should lacerate its tender skin.

    Lives of the Fur Folk M. D. Haviland
  • When she had found one, she seized it as a cat seizes her kitten and made off with it.

  • With its head lower than its shoulders, and its long tail twitching, it slouched down the path, treading as softly as a kitten.

  • She was carrying her kitten as does a cat, by the nape of the neck.

  • Roll the ball to him softly, Cicely, quite softly as if he were a kitten.

    The Curate in Charge Margaret Oliphant
British Dictionary definitions for kitten


a young cat
(Brit, informal) have kittens, have a canary, to react with disapproval, anxiety, etc: she had kittens when she got the bill US equivalent have a cow
(of cats) to give birth to (young)
Derived Forms
kitten-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Northern French caton, from cat1; probably influenced by Middle English kiteling
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for kitten

late 14c., probably from an Anglo-French variant of Old French chitoun (Old North French caton) "little cat," from chat "cat," from Late Latin cattus (see cat). Applied playfully to a young girl, a sweetheart, from 1870.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for kitten


Related Terms

have kittens, sex kitten

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with kitten
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for kitten

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for kitten

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for kitten