kit·​ten | \ ˈki-tᵊn How to pronounce kitten (audio) \

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 How to pronounce kittening (audio) , ˈki-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of kitten (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to give birth to kittens

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Examples of kitten in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thebes has taken it upon himself to help socialize feral kittens who come in to the shelter. Denise Coffey,, "Doing Her Part To Clear The Shelters," 26 Aug. 2019 Kevin is a social, curious, and outgoing kitten who climbs over everyone, the MSPCA said., "A stray kitten with a serious heart condition is going under the knife this week, and the MSPCA is raising money to help with the costs of the lifesaving operation, officials said.," 17 Sep. 2019 In a story of rags to riches, a kitten with a facial condition went from flea infestation to viral sensation after a Florida teacher found the small cat wandering the streets, according to a report by the DailyMail. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Florida kitten with ‘facial condition’ becomes internet star," 6 Sep. 2019 At a few minutes to midnight Aug. 8, a woman called police to report that one of her kittens in the garage had just turned into a leopard. Joan Rusek,, "Woman sees kitten turning into leopard; police unconvinced: Bainbridge Township Police Blotter," 14 Aug. 2019 First, capture a video of your sleepy kitten purring, or snap a shot of your crazy cat doing aerial stunts. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "36 Best Cat Instagram Captions for Every Photo of Your Feline Friend," 19 July 2019 Naturally, such profound issues do not plague supermodel Irina Shayk, who shared an unquestionably stunning selfie with her latest foster kitten on Instagram. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Irina Shayk Is Fostering the World's Most Adorable Kitten," 15 July 2019 Tia and Berenice both volunteered at the animal shelter, too, helping to care for foster kittens and keeping homeless cats and dogs company, Walker said. Los Angeles Times, "34 people trapped on burning boat. The crew was asleep and unable to help, officials say," 13 Sep. 2019 On a recent weekday in August, a 10-day-old tabby named Chevy napped in an incubator in the shelter’s kitten nursery. Alicia Parlapiano, New York Times, "Why Euthanasia Rates at Animal Shelters Have Plummeted," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Just kitten around Third baseman Eduardo Escobar is not a cat person, and teammates David Peralta, Wilmer Flores and Ildemaro Vargas love that about him. Jenna Ortiz, azcentral, "Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver's latest MRI reveals good news," 24 June 2019 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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for kitten

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

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More Definitions for kitten


How to pronounce kitten (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kitten

: a young cat


kit·​ten | \ ˈki-tᵊn How to pronounce kitten (audio) \

Kids Definition of kitten

: a young cat

Other Words from kitten

kittenish \ ˈki-​tᵊn-​ish \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on kitten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kitten

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kitten

Spanish Central: Translation of kitten

Nglish: Translation of kitten for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kitten for Arabic Speakers

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).


something of little or no value

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