A dense, cylindrical, often drooping cluster of unisexual apetalous flowers found especially in willows, birches, and oaks. Also called ament.
[From obsolete Dutch katteken, kitten, diminutive of katte, cat (from its resemblance to a kitten's tail), from Germanic *kattuz.]
(click for a larger image)catkin
male hazel catkins
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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