1 of 2


: a light frame covered with paper, cloth, or plastic, often provided with a stabilizing tail, and designed to be flown in the air at the end of a long string
: any of various usually small hawks (family Accipitridae) with long narrow wings and often a notched or forked tail
: a person who preys on others
: a check drawn against uncollected funds in a bank account or fraudulently raised before cashing
: a light sail used in a light breeze usually in addition to the regular working sails
especially : spinnaker
kitelike adjective


2 of 2


kited; kiting

transitive verb

: to use (a bad check) to get credit or money
: to cause to soar
kited the prices they charged wealthy clients

intransitive verb

: to go in a rapid, carefree, or flighty manner
: to rise rapidly : soar
: to get money or credit by a kite
kiter noun

Examples of kite in a Sentence

Noun The children were flying kites. characterized the financial advisors as kites who took advantage of their customers
Recent Examples on the Web
Also, a dragon-style kite with a long, flowing tail $15.99). Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Once again, the authors noted clear similarities between the engraved representations of kites on the boulder and actual desert kite shapes nearby. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 2 Jan. 2024 An Israeli military veteran with dual Israeli and British citizenship, a former professional wind surfer, an avid kite surfer and a fitness buff, with more than a passing resemblance to a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 58-year-old Mr. Kreiz comes across as more of a square-jawed G.I. James B. Stewart, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 One depicts kites dotting the sky that, when blurred by movement, conjure a squadron of fighter jets. Dennis Zhou, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2023 These kites aren't the same as Penrose's; Smith made them by slicing a regular hexagon into six equal pieces with lines connecting the midpoints of opposite edges. Craig S. Kaplan, Scientific American, 14 Dec. 2023 On a recent Wednesday afternoon, children played with a kite in one area of a grassy field otherwise filled with trash. Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, New York Times, 25 Nov. 2023 When one side has nuclear weapons, and the other side figures out how to fly over a wall on a kite? Addie Morfoot, Variety, 8 Nov. 2023 Community members had planned to take their kites, with messages of peace, up on a hill and fly them above the nearby Gaza border fence. Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2023
Plus, check out paper kite building classes, kite-flying competitions, refreshments, and kites for sale. Clilly, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Fortifying the city On a recent weekday, tourists and locals fly kites on a towering structure with dazzling views of Singapore’s skyline. TIME, 10 Oct. 2023 Royal Air Force pilots flying over the region in the 1920s gave the structures their name due to their kite-like shape. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2022 Keros Beach on Limnos is one of the best places to kite or windsurf in Europe. Eleni N. Gage, Travel + Leisure, 27 July 2021 Got stacks of your kid’s artwork? Clip the birthday child's creations to kite string and hang it along the walls, no tape necessary. Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh, National Geographic, 26 Feb. 2020 The ecommerce giant maintains a list of restricted product categories that ranges from weapons such as firearms, to booze and tobacco products, to pets, to kite strings for the niche sport of kite fighting. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, 1 July 2019 My favorite board to kite on in all different conditions, from big waves to small, mushy waves. David Walters, Marie Claire, 24 May 2018 Here's hoping City Hosts will have a different outcome — and to consequently kite surfing in San Fran. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, 15 Sep. 2016 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English cȳta; akin to Middle High German kūze owl

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1839, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kite was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near kite

Cite this Entry

“Kite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of various usually small hawks with long narrow wings and a deeply forked tail
: a light covered frame for flying in the air at the end of a long string

More from Merriam-Webster on kite

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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