[ kat-uh-mahyt ]
/ ˈkæt əˌmaɪt /


a boy or youth who is in a sexual relationship with a man.

Nearby words

  1. catalytic cracking,
  2. catalyze,
  3. catamaran,
  4. catamarca,
  5. catamenia,
  6. catamnesis,
  7. catamnestic,
  8. catamount,
  9. catamountain,
  10. catananche

Origin of catamite

1585–95; < Latin Catamītus < Etruscan Catmite < Greek Ganymḗdēs Ganymede Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catamite

  • Then a catamite appeared, clad in a myrtle-colored frieze robe, and girded round with a belt.

    The Satyricon, Complete|Petronius Arbiter
  • Catamite, mistakenly read as khz on f. 112b (Mmoires ii, 82).

    The Bbur-nma in English|Babur, Emperor of Hindustan
  • A catamite appeared, the stalest of all mankind, well worthy of that house.

    The Satyricon, Complete|Petronius Arbiter
  • He had been in the intimate service of the Tarkhn begs, indeed had been a catamite.

    The Bbur-nma in English|Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

British Dictionary definitions for catamite


/ (ˈkætəˌmaɪt) /


a boy kept for homosexual purposes

Word Origin for catamite

C16: from Latin Catamītus, variant of Ganymēdēs Ganymede 1

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 catamite



"boy used in pederasty," 1590s, from Latin Catamitus, corruption of Ganymedes, the name of the beloved cup-bearer of Jupiter (see Ganymede). Cicero used it as a contemptuous insult against Antonius.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper