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kit·​ten ˈki-tᵊn How to pronounce kitten (audio)
: a young cat
also : an immature or young individual of various other small mammals


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kittened; kittening
ˈki-tᵊn-iŋ How to pronounce kitten (audio)

intransitive verb

: to give birth to kittens

Examples of kitten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
About a week after the incident, Oakland Zoo said in its release that residents reported seeing the small kittens alone near the area, and they were later found safe in a nearby backyard. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 The doe-eyed kitten is eventually invited in by Jon for a treat — and ends up devouring the entire restaurant. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Nov. 2023 There’s a musical interlude featuring K-drama superstar Park Seo-joon, and a scene with a herd of space kittens that makes reference to ‘Cats,’ Walsh continues in her review. Carlos De Loera, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2023 There are three different surprise friends: a puppy, kitten, or bunny. Maya Polton, Parents, 7 Nov. 2023 The post went on to explain that three stray kittens, each a month old, had been brought into the shelter in Omaha, and one was in rough condition. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 Kardashian’s youngest daughter opted to go as a kitten and a ghost this year — and both costumes were as low-key as possible for the 5-year-old. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 6 Nov. 2023 To the family’s surprise, Dad rescues a kitten that turns out to be more wildcat than fluffy companion. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Oct. 2023 These were not ailing kittens or tiny humans, but shoes. Roxana Popescu, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Oct. 2023
Local authorities were able to coax the bobcat kitten out of the tree and bring it some comfort. Amaris Encinas, USA TODAY, 25 July 2023 We're just kitten around. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 10 Mar. 2023 We’re not kitten around here. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, 6 Mar. 2020 There were kitten heels layered over argyle socks and collarless tweed jackets paired with matching mini skirts. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 2 Feb. 2023 So many unwanted cats and dogs – kitten and puppies – in our country. Gregg Doyel, USA TODAY, 25 Nov. 2022 Puppy and kitten sales make up more than 80% of owner Suk’s annual revenue, the lawsuit says. Dallas News, 28 May 2022 Obviously, kitten food differs from adult cat food; even adult cat food may be slightly different for senior cats seven years and older than for a younger adult. Dallas News, 22 Dec. 2022 The convenience of this kitten wet food’s packaging cannot be understated. Dallas News, 13 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kitten.' 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 kitoun, from Anglo-French *kiton, chiton, diminutive of cat, chat cat, from Late Latin cattus

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near kitten

Cite this Entry

“Kitten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a young cat
also : a young individual of various other small mammals
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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