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See also: Catty


Etymology 1[edit]

cat +‎ -y; in sense “hostility”, see catfight.



catty (comparative cattier, superlative cattiest)

  1. (informal, of a person or remark) With subtle hostility in an effort to hurt, annoy, or upset, particularly among women.
  2. (informal) Resembling or characteristic of a cat.
    a catty smell
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Malay kati, from Tamil கட்டி (kaṭṭi).

Alternative forms[edit]


catty (plural catties or cattys)

  1. A (unit of) weight used in China, generally standardized as half a kilogram.
    • 2009, Huaiyin Li, Village China Under Socialism and Reform: A Micro-History, 1948-2008, Stanford University Press, →ISBN, page 94:
      To limit team members' consumption, it issued food stamps to the villagers and allowed everyone to eat one catty of rice a day.
    • 1699, Captain William Dampier, A new voyage round the world, Volume 1:
      16 Mess, make a Tale, which here is 20 s. English, 5 Tale make a Bancal, a weight so called, and 20 Bancal make a Catty, another weight.
    • 1847, Robert Montgomery Martin, China; Political, Commercial, and Social, Volume 2, James Madden (publisher), page 124:
      Transparent yellow pieces are the best; the price is from eight to fourteen dollars per catty, according to size and quality.
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Etymology 3[edit]


catty (plural catties)

  1. (slang) A catapult.
    • 2009, Sheldon Arensen, The Carjackers (page 43)
      “Give me your slingshot, and I'll let you have it back after school this afternoon,” she said firmly. [] I stuck the 'catty' into my back pocket and ran outside to meet the others.
    • 2017, David Cooper, Christiaan Barnard: The Surgeon Who Dared
      You could also keep a tennis ball and a frog, or a catapult and a frog, but not all three together. I know because I tried it. The frog got a bit squashed between the ball and the handle of the catty.

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