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kitten

Syllabification: kit·ten
Pronunciation: /ˈkitn
 
/

Definition of kitten in English:

noun

1A young cat.
Example sentences
  • Please think about adopting an adult cat rather than a kitten, because a kitten is always assured of a home!
  • In the corner a tabby cat is curled round a nest of her kittens.
  • I have nine cats, three of them kittens, and they all sleep with me at night.
1.1The young of several other animals, such as the rabbit and beaver.
Example sentences
  • The mesh that protects the reserve is three centimetres in diameter, which is small enough to keep even rabbit kittens out.
  • While the mother Cougar will look after her kittens for up to eighteen months, they are solitary animals and only come together to mate.
  • Usually lynx roam a mile or two a day, but when the females prepare to have kittens, they zero in on a small area as they choose a den, aiming to hole up for a while.
2A stout furry gray and white moth, the caterpillar of which resembles that of the puss moth.
  • Genus Furcula, family Notodontidae

verb

[no object] Back to top  
(Of a cat or certain other animals) give birth.
Example sentences
  • However, many cats are contrary and may choose the most inconvenient places to kitten in, such as your bed.
  • Supply several large cardboard boxes well lined with newspaper for her to kitten in.

Origin

late Middle English kitoun, ketoun, from an Anglo-Norman French variant of Old French chitoun, diminutive of chat 'cat'.

Phrases

have kittens

1
informal Be extremely nervous or upset.
Example sentences
  • No-one seems to know who is paying - the Metropolitan Police Authority is rightly having kittens at the possible budget consequences, as most of the police officers qualified for the job come from their force.
  • The PM's bodyguards must be having kittens.
  • I don't know how captain Rhona Martin managed it because I was having kittens just watching.

Definition of kitten in:

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