catkin

[ kat-kin ]
/ ˈkæt kɪn /

noun Botany.

a spike of unisexual, apetalous flowers having scaly, usually deciduous bracts, as of a willow or birch.

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 forms

cat·kin·ate [kat-kuh-neyt] /ˈkæt kəˌneɪt/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catkin

British Dictionary definitions for catkin

catkin

/ (ˈkætkɪn) /

noun

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

Word Origin for catkin

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

Science definitions for catkin

catkin

[ kătkĭn ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.