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kitten

[kit-n]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a young cat.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. (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 formskit·ten·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kitten

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Suddenly she smiled—the smile that suggested, in some subtle way, a kitten.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • I was ill for three days, and all that time the kitten was kept with me.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • Wordsworth's "Kitten and the Falling Leaves," is in the high, moralizing style.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • Then, too, he used to wash Jack, lapping him all over as a mother cat does her kitten.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

  • The Pole-cat or Skunk is about the size of a kitten eight months old.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz


British Dictionary definitions for kitten

kitten

noun
  1. a young cat
  2. have kittens or have a canary British informal to react with disapproval, anxiety, etcshe had kittens when she got the bill US equivalent: have a cow
verb
  1. (of cats) to give birth to (young)
Derived Formskitten-like, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old Northern French caton, from cat 1; 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

Word Origin and History for kitten

n.

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

Idioms and Phrases with kitten

kitten

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.