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catlike; feline.
slyly malicious; spiteful:
a catty gossip.
(in China and southeast Asia) a weight equal to about 1½ pounds (680 grams) avoirdupois.
Contemporary Examples

Meanwhile, the gay Republican group, GOProud, cut their own ad, describing Frank as a “catty.”
What If Barney Loses? Samuel P. Jacobs October 24, 2010

Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) and Nolan (Gabriel Mann) are as catty and delightful as ever, but the rest of the show feels tired.
‘Breaking Bad’ Finale, ‘Homeland’ Premiere: How to Survive DVRmageddon Jason Lynch September 28, 2013

And not just catty little spats between debutantes—smack-talking text messages frequently led to physical altercations.
Mean Girls Love-Triangle Murder Lynn Waddell August 5, 2010

catty quips about style choices are met with irrational exuberance over over-hyped new designs.
How Sneaker Culture Conquered the World William O’Connor March 15, 2014

“catty, petty, and self-serving,” is how one of those way-right-of-center folk described Geithner to me.
Ex-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Relives College Glory Days Olivia Nuzzi May 12, 2014

Historical Examples

And you are coming to stay amongst us now, catty; or are you going back to France again?
The Martins Of Cro’ Martin, Vol. I (of II) Charles James Lever

catty, my dear, your back’s asy up, but it’s asy down again.
Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

She had objected to Felix as too catty like, and Isadore she had said was as bad as Is-a-window.
Two Knapsacks John Campbell

Repton has a copy of it, too, with catty’s signature,—old catty Broon.
The Martins Of Cro’ Martin, Vol. II (of II) Charles James Lever

He was only a baby; and she had left him to run about with Arty and catty as if he were a big boy.
The Judgment of Eve May Sinclair

adjective -tier, -tiest
(informal) spiteful: a catty remark
of or resembling a cat
noun (pl) -ties
a unit of weight, used esp in E Asia, traditionally equal to about one and a half pounds but formalized as 0.5 kg in mainland China, 0.6 kg in Taiwan and Thailand, and about 0.605 kg in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore (Mandarin) Chinese name: jin

1886, “devious and spiteful,” from cat (n.) + -y (2). Slightly earlier was cattish. Meaning “pertaining to cats” is from 1902. Related: Cattily; cattiness.


Inclined to discredit others; malicious; spitefully gossipy: Karla and Susan were being catty about Dusty

[late 1800s+; but cat, ”spiteful woman,” is attested from the 1760s]


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