[ gri-mal-kin, -mawl- ]
/ grɪˈmæl kɪn, -ˈmɔl- /


a cat.
an old female cat.
an ill-tempered old woman.

Origin of grimalkin

1595–1605; apparently alteration of gray1 + malkin, diminutive of Maud proper name; see -kin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grimalkin

British Dictionary definitions for grimalkin


/ (ɡrɪˈmælkɪn, -ˈmɔːl-) /


an old cat, esp an old female cat
a crotchety or shrewish old woman

Word Origin for grimalkin

C17: from grey + malkin
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 grimalkin



1620s, name given to a cat (cf. Shakespeare's Gray-Malkin, in "Macbeth," 1605), hence any cat, especially an old she-cat; from gray + Malkin, diminutive of fem. proper name Matilda or Maud.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper