Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

catkin

[kat-kin]
See more synonyms for catkin on Thesaurus.com
noun Botany.
  1. a spike of unisexual, apetalous flowers having scaly, usually deciduous bracts, as of a willow or birch.
Show More

Origin of catkin

First recorded in 1570–80, catkin is from the Dutch word katteken little cat (now obsolete). See cat, -kin
Also called ament.
Related formscat·kin·ate [kat-kuh-neyt] /ˈkæt kəˌneɪt/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catkin

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for catkin

catkin

noun
  1. an inflorescence consisting of a spike, usually hanging, of much reduced flowers of either sex: occurs in birch, hazel, etcAlso called: ament
Show More

Word Origin

C16: from obsolete Dutch katteken kitten, identical in meaning with French chaton, German Kätzchen
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 catkin

n.

1570s, from Dutch katteken "flowering stem of willow, birch, hazel, etc.," literally "kitten," diminutive of katte "cat" (see cat (n.)). So called for their soft, furry appearance.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

catkin in Science

catkin

[kătkĭn]
  1. A long, thin, indeterminate inflorescence of tiny, petalless flowers growing on willows, birches, oaks, poplars, and certain other trees. The flowers on a catkin are either all male or all female. The female flowers are usually pollinated by the wind. Also called ament See illustration at inflorescence.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.