a spike of unisexual, apetalous flowers having scaly, usually deciduous bracts, as of a willow or birch.
an inflorescence consisting of a spike, usually hanging, of much reduced flowers of either sex: occurs in birch, hazel, etc Also called ament
1570s, from Dutch katteken “flowering stem of willow, birch, hazel, etc.,” literally “kitten,” diminutive of katte “cat” (see cat (n.)). So called for their soft, furry appearance.
A long, thin, indeterminate inflorescence of tiny, petalless flowers growing on willows, birches, oaks, poplars, and certain other trees. The flowers on a catkin are either all male or all female. The female flowers are usually pollinated by the wind. Also called ament. See illustration at inflorescence.
resembling or typical of a cat: catlike eyes. swift and graceful. stealthy and noiseless: The scouts crept up on their quarry with catlike tread. Contemporary Examples Historical Examples
George, 1796–1872, U.S. painter. Contemporary Examples Historical Examples
noun a long double-edged surgical knife for amputations (rare) catgut or a string made from it an archaic word for kitten Historical Examples