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[kit-n] /ˈkɪt n/
a young cat.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
(of cats) to give birth; bear.
Origin of kitten
1350-1400; Middle English kitoun, apparently blend of kiteling kitling and Middle French chitoun, variant of chaton kitten
Related forms
kittenlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kitten
  • But she is perfectly natural, and while perfectly amoral, no more immoral than a bird or a kitten-Times.
  • Everybody loves a puppy or kitten, well almost everybody.
  • kitten food, with its even higher protein and fat levels, is even less appropriate for dogs.
  • He gave the names of all her animals-the bunny, the kitten, the puppy.
  • The kitten was not tested but is suspected to have died of rabies.
  • To my surprise, there he stood, with a kitten in his hands.
  • He didn't give up and kept looking and found the kitten hidden in the trailer bay.
  • The current case involves a six-month old, unvaccinated kitten that bit his owner.
  • They should form a circle and join hands around the kitten.
British Dictionary definitions for kitten


a young cat
(Brit, informal) have kittens, have a canary, to react with disapproval, anxiety, etc: she had kittens when she got the bill US equivalent have a cow
(of cats) to give birth to (young)
Derived Forms
kitten-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old Northern French caton, from cat1; 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
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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
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Slang definitions & phrases for kitten


Related Terms

have kittens, sex kitten

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with kitten
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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