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

Between the area rug, the succulents, and the Mason jar lanterns, your kitten will be completely set up for indoor glamping (or maybe just a cat nap). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "This DIY Cardboard Kitty Camper Is Paws-Down the Cutest Thing We've Ever Seen," 8 July 2018 The gorilla was featured on the cover of National Geographic twice in her lifetime, once taking a picture of herself in a mirror and another time holding her pet kitten. Lilly Price, USA TODAY, "Koko, the gorilla famous for knowing sign language, dies in her sleep," 21 June 2018 The second issue, in January of 1985, included the story of Koko and her kitten, All Ball. Author: Lindsey Bever, Anchorage Daily News, "Koko, the beloved gorilla that learned to use sign language, has died," 21 June 2018 Jones adopted Teddy three years ago when a pair of feral cats showed up in their backyard with their five kittens, one being Teddy. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "This Houston cat loves the heck out of some Houston sports teams," 3 May 2018 But that’s just where the Humane Society of Broward County has been bringing some of its adoptable kittens and pups on weekends. Susannah Bryan,, "Puppy love on Las Olas: Pop-up shop helps the animals," 8 Jan. 2018 Even lolcats, even cute pictures of kittens made even cuter with the addition of cute captions, hold out an invitation to participation. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "When Did TV Watching Peak?," 30 May 2018 Hunt noted that a jury recently acquitted a man charged with animal cruelty after cutting off the tails of four kittens with rusty scissors., "Ocala teacher who drowned raccoons, opossum won't be charged," 28 May 2018 Orlando firefighters fetched an adorable little kitten out of a storm drain near Orlando International Airport on Tuesday night. David Harris,, "Cute kitten alert! Orlando firefighters rescue cat stuck in storm drain," 7 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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Statistics for kitten

Last Updated

9 Nov 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

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