a young cat.

verb (used with or without object)

(of cats) to give birth; bear.

Nearby words

  1. kitschness,
  2. kitschy,
  3. kitset,
  4. kitt peak national observatory,
  5. kittel,
  6. kitten heel,
  7. kitten moth,
  8. kittenish,
  9. kittie,
  10. kittikachorn

Origin of kitten

1350–1400; Middle English kitoun, apparently blend of kiteling kitling and Middle French chitoun, variant of chaton kitten

Related formskit·ten·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kitten

British Dictionary definitions for kitten



a young cat
have kittens or have a canary British informal to react with disapproval, anxiety, etcshe had kittens when she got the bill US equivalent: have a cow


(of cats) to give birth to (young)
Derived Formskitten-like, adjective

Word Origin for kitten

C14: from Old Northern French caton, from cat 1; probably influenced by Middle English kiteling

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 kitten



late 14c., probably from an Anglo-French variant of Old French chitoun (Old North French caton) "little cat," from chat "cat," from Late Latin cattus (see cat). Applied playfully to a young girl, a sweetheart, from 1870.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with kitten


see have a fit (kittens); weak as a kitten.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.