fe·​line | \ˈfē-ˌlīn \

Definition of feline 

1 : of, relating to, or affecting cats or the cat family

2 : resembling a cat: such as

a : sleekly graceful

b : sly, treacherous

c : stealthy

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Other Words from feline

feline noun
felinely adverb
felinity \ fē-​ˈli-​nə-​tē \ noun

Did You Know?

Cats have always provoked a strong reaction from humans. The Egyptians worshipped them, leaving thousands of feline mummies and idols as evidence. In the Middle Ages, felines were feared as agents of the devil, and were thought to creep around silently at night doing evil. (Notice that feline is also a noun.) The fascinating family called the Felidae includes about 40 species of superb hunters, including the lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, cougars, bobcats, and lynxes, and almost all of them are smooth, silent, and independent.

Examples of feline in a Sentence

They move with feline agility. the thief was eerily feline as he moved stealthily through the darkened rooms

Recent Examples on the Web

Out of sight means out of mind for most feline pet parents who mistakenly think their cats are fine and just somewhere in the house. Cathy M. Rosenthal, courant.com, "Pet World: Helping Dogs And Cats Survive The Fourth Of July," 22 June 2018 Ed Sheeran is an avid cat lover, so what better way to unveil his new wax figure than with the help of some feline friends? Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Ed Sheeran's Wax Figure Took a Trip to a London Cat Cafe," 12 June 2018 According to Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, the 3-month-old kittens suffered from feline panleukopenia — the feline version of the parvo virus. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Atascosa bobcat kittens die from virus," 31 May 2018 The rest of the Instagram story series has Swift, who dressed as Deadpool for Halloween last year, taking on the role of the paparazzi, approaching her feline friends for comment. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Cat Cameos! Taylor Swift Asks Meredith and Olivia for Comment on Their Surprise Deadpool 2 Appearance," 22 May 2018 So while cat owners are more likely to give their pets free reign over the home, their feline friends aren't returning the same amount of love. Bridget Mallon, ELLE Decor, "Who Loves Their Owners More: Cats Or Dogs?," 2 Feb. 2016 And when his new mom could no longer care for her feline family, SEHS stepped in to help. Laura Bruck, cleveland.com, "Sunny is ready to begin life anew," 5 Feb. 2018 The 28-year-old shared a hilarious video of the feline friends kicking back in their own unique — and very distinct — ways. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "See Taylor Swift Dig Her Claws Into Falconry Class During Big Sur Getaway," 28 Feb. 2018 The fun will include children’s educational activities, a cat fashion show and feline agility demonstrations. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "Events for Children in NYC This Week," 8 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of feline

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for feline

Latin felinus, from felis

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Statistics for feline

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Time Traveler for feline

The first known use of feline was in 1681

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More Definitions for feline



English Language Learners Definition of feline

: of or relating to the cat family

: resembling a cat : like a cat's


fe·​line | \ˈfē-ˌlīn \

Kids Definition of feline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the domestic cat or a related animal (as a lion) feline anatomy

2 : like or like that of a cat feline movements



Kids Definition of feline (Entry 2 of 2)

: cat


fe·​line | \ˈfē-ˌlīn \

Medical Definition of feline 

: of, relating to, or affecting cats or the family Felidae

Other Words from feline

feline noun

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Comments on feline

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a private place of worship

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