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grimalkin

[gri-mal-kin, -mawl-]
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noun
  1. a cat.
  2. an old female cat.
  3. an ill-tempered old woman.
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Origin of grimalkin

1595–1605; apparently alteration of gray1 + malkin, diminutive of Maud proper name; see -kin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

puma, panther, tabby, kitty, lynx, tiger, cougar, lion, puss, kitten, leopard, bobcat, jaguar, tomcat, pussy, ocelot, tom, cheetah, mouser, grimalkin

Examples from the Web for grimalkin

Historical Examples

  • And Mrs. Grimalkin, the old cat, said that there were faults on both sides.

    Little Folks (July 1884)

    Various

  • He too pitched on the top of the fence directly in front of Grimalkin.

  • So narrow was it, however, that even Grimalkin could not venture to move fast.

  • Grimalkin decides to kill a canary in a neighbouring verandah.

    Three Elephant Power

    Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

  • Then he told the Farmer about the bargain he had made with Grimalkin.


British Dictionary definitions for grimalkin

grimalkin

noun
  1. an old cat, esp an old female cat
  2. a crotchety or shrewish old woman
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Word Origin

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

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper