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Old English cetil (Mercian), from Latin catillus "deep pan or dish for cooking," diminutive of catinus "bowl, dish, pot." A general Germanic borrowing (cf. Old Saxon ketel, Old Frisian zetel, Middle Dutch ketel, Old High German kezzil, German Kessel). Spelling with a -k- (c.1300) probably is from influence of Old Norse cognate ketill. The smaller sense of "tea-kettle" is attested by 1769.
A steep, bowl-shaped hollow in ground once covered by a glacier. Kettles are believed to form when a block of ice left by a glacier becomes covered by sediments and later melts, leaving a hollow. They are usually tens of meters deep and up to tens of kilometers in diameter and often contain surface water.
a large pot for cooking. The same Hebrew word (dud, "boiling") is rendered also "pot" (Ps. 81:6), "caldron" (2 Chr. 35:13), "basket" (Jer. 24:2). It was used for preparing the peace-offerings (1 Sam. 2:13, 14).
in geology, depression in a glacial outwash drift made by the melting of a detached mass of glacial ice that became wholly or partly buried. The occurrence of these stranded ice masses is thought to be the result of gradual accumulation of outwash atop the irregular glacier terminus. Kettles may range in size from 5 m (15 feet) to 13 km (8 miles) in diameter and up to 45 m in depth. When filled with water they are called kettle lakes. Most kettles are circular in shape because melting blocks of ice tend to become rounded; distorted or branching depressions may result from extremely irregular ice masses