cat·​ty | \ ˈka-tē How to pronounce catty (audio) \
plural catties

Definition of catty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of various units of weight of China and southeast Asia varying around 1¹/₃ pounds (about 600 grams) also : a standard Chinese unit equal to 1.1023 pounds (500 grams)


cattier; cattiest

Definition of catty (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : resembling a cat especially : slyly spiteful : malicious made several catty comments
2 : of or relating to a cat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from catty


cattily \ ˈka-​tə-​lē How to pronounce cattily (audio) \ adverb
cattiness \ ˈka-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce cattiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for catty

Synonyms: Adjective

bad [slang], bitchy, cruel, despiteful, hateful, malevolent, malicious, malign, malignant, mean, nasty, spiteful, vicious, virulent

Antonyms: Adjective

benevolent, benign, benignant, loving, unmalicious

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of catty in a Sentence


a catty remark that served its only purpose: to make someone cry

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Matt Minnicino’s adaptation takes a playful, even risque approach with the verse as a catty set of upper-crusters gossip and gripe in the South of France. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, "‘A Misanthrope’ brings Molière’s fabulous fakes into the 21st century," 5 June 2019 Worn with romantic earrings, a black choker, fishnet tights, and catty little ankle boots, Buoso’s ensemble was one of the show’s closing looks, a spritely offering among Moralioglu’s sweeping gowns and long floral trains. Amanda Brooks, Vogue, "From Sketch to Dress: How Erdem Revived an Italian Principessa in Custom Fil Coupé," 26 Feb. 2019 What can come from that, unfortunately, is a catty girl-fight narrative completely fabricated by social media. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Jenna Dewan Responded to People Who Say She Looks Just Like Jessie J," 15 Nov. 2018 There’s plenty of catty people in the fashion business. Emma Elwick-bates, WSJ, "Grace Coddington Collaborates on a Pet-Inspired Capsule Collection for Louis Vuitton," 20 Aug. 2018 The storylines of Cavallari’s employees and their catty friends figure to take predictable paths as the season unfolds. David Haugh,, "Jay Cutler, the King of Not Caring, still rules on 'Very Cavallari'," 9 July 2018 When Bourdain got really catty about two of his fellow TV food show hosts. Andy Staples,, "Joe Moorhead’s Goal Isn’t Just to Win at Mississippi State. It’s to Win Championships.," 11 June 2018 Federer was catty in defeat, ripping Djokovic for the desperate shot as if the impulsivity was beneath him. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Was Roger Federer's Wimbledon collapse the worst of his career? Ranking his five biggest losses.," 11 July 2018 All three shows are big on female bonding and friendship while blasting the myth that women are always catty and are way too busy sharpening their talons to give a sister a hand. Karla Peterson,, "Meet the heroines of this summer's Must-See #MeToo TV," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of catty


1598, in the meaning defined above


1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for catty


Malay kati

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about catty

Statistics for catty

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catty

The first known use of catty was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for catty



English Language Learners Definition of catty

disapproving : unkind or critical

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on catty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catty

Spanish Central: Translation of catty

Nglish: Translation of catty for Spanish Speakers

Comments on catty

What made you want to look up catty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!