catercorner

cat·​er·​cor·​ner ˈki-tē-ˌkȯr-nər How to pronounce catercorner (audio) ˈka-tē- How to pronounce catercorner (audio)
ˈka-tə-
variants or catercornered

less common variants of kitty-corner

: in a diagonal or oblique position
the house stood kitty-corner across the square

Did you know?

Catercorner gets its first element from the Middle French noun quatre, meaning “four,” which English speakers modified to cater and applied to the four-dotted side of a die—a side important in several winning combinations in dice games. Perhaps because the four spots on a die can suggest an X, cater eventually came to be used dialectically with the meaning of “diagonal” or “diagonally”; cater was then combined with corner to form catercorner. Eventually the variants kitty-corner and catty-corner, which are now the more common forms, developed. Despite all appearances, these terms bear no etymological relation to our feline friends.

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Cite this Entry

“Catercorner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catercorner. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

catercorner

cat·​er·​cor·​ner
variants or cater-cornered

variant of kitty-corner

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