kit·ten | \ ˈki-tᵊn \

Definition of kitten 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a young cat also : an immature or young individual of various other small mammals


kittened; kittening\ˈkit-niŋ, ˈki-tᵊn-iŋ \

Definition of kitten (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to give birth to kittens

Examples of kitten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In order for that surgery to be safe, a kitten has to weigh 2 pounds. Robert Rhoden,, "La. black bear makes himself at home in city of Winnfield: report," 1 June 2018 During construction on the ship, the crew discovered a small gray kitten curled up in a toolbox. Bethany Ao,, "Meet the cats living on the tall ships visiting Philly," 25 May 2018 In April, National Geographic reported on a man who had taken a leopard cat from the wild after apparently mistaking it for a domestic kitten. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Can People Really Mistake a Bear for a Dog, as This Family Claims?," 16 May 2018 By using GIFs, the robot can easily communicate with humans in recognizable emotional language—showing us a sleepy kitten falling over or Snoop Dogg knowingly nodding his head. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "This Adorable DIY Robot Responds to Commands With GIFs," 9 Dec. 2016 Calling all cat lovers: Sacramento’s animal shelter says it’s overflowing with kittens and needs volunteers to help house the critters for a few weeks. Anna Buchmann, sacbee, "Sacramento shelter declares ‘kitty crisis,’ seeks volunteers for foster care," 12 July 2018 Traces of moss, likely used as toilet paper, were found alongside fragmented animal bones, including the remains of a kitten and small bird. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unseal 17th-Century Danish Latrines to Discover Copenhageners’ Dietary Habits," 9 July 2018 Back in the ’80s, Koko had a beloved kitten named All Ball. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "Koko the Gorilla’s Most Iconic Moments," 22 June 2018 The Michigan Humane Society is flooded with kittens that are surrendered each spring and summer after the breeding season. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Too many cute kittens, so Humane Society has 'baby shower'," 10 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kitten in car wheel: Iverson St., 2500 block, Temple Hills, June 3. Jillian S. Jarrett, Washington Post, "Prince George’s County Animal Watch," 20 June 2017 Things start cooking when Keanu disappears, forcing Rell and Clarence to play detective while chasing leads and kitten tail. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "With ‘Keanu,’ Key & Peele Break Into Feature Films — Kittens in Tow APRIL 20, 2016," 28 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kitten.' 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 kitten


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kitten


Middle English kitoun, from Anglo-French *kiton, chiton, diminutive of cat, chat cat, from Late Latin cattus

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Phrases Related to kitten

have kittens

Statistics for kitten

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for kitten

The first known use of kitten was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for kitten



English Language Learners Definition of kitten

: a young cat


kit·ten | \ ˈki-tᵊn \

Kids Definition of kitten

: a young cat

Other words from kitten

kittenish \ˈki-tᵊn-ish \ adjective

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Comments on kitten

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


to make amends

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