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See also: Kettle


Tea kettle
 kettle on Wikipedia


  • enPR: kĕt'(ə)l, IPA(key): /ˈkɛ.təl/, [ˈkʰɛtᵊɫ̩]
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkɛ.təl/, [ˈkʰɛɾɫ̩]
  • (dated, regional US) IPA(key): /ˈkɪtl̩/[1]
  • Rhymes: -ɛtəl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English ketel, also chetel, from Old Norse ketill and Old English ċietel (kettle, cauldron), both from Proto-Germanic *katilaz (kettle, bucket, vessel), of uncertain origin and formation. Usually regarded as a borrowing of Late Latin catīllus (small bowl), diminutive of Latin catinus (deep bowl, vessel for cooking up or serving food), however, the word may be Germanic confused with the Latin: compare Old High German chezzi (a kettle, dish, bowl), Old English cete (cooking pot), Icelandic kati, ketla (a small boat). Cognate with West Frisian tsjettel (kettle), Dutch ketel (kettle), German Kessel (kettle), Swedish kittel (cauldron), Swedish kittel (kettle), Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐍄𐌹𐌻𐍃 (katils, kettle), Finnish kattila. Compare also Russian котёл (kotjól, boiler, cauldron).[2]


kettle (plural kettles)

  1. A vessel for boiling a liquid or cooking food, usually metal and equipped with a lid.
    To cook pasta, you first need to put the kettle on.
    There's a hot kettle of soup on the stove.
  2. The quantity held by a kettle.
  3. (Britain) A vessel for boiling water for tea; a teakettle.
    Stick the kettle on and we'll have a nice cup of tea.
  4. (geology) A kettle hole, sometimes any pothole.
  5. (ornithology, collective) A collective term for a group of raptors riding a thermal, especially when migrating.
    • 2006, Keith L. Bildstein, Migrating Raptors of the World: Their Ecology & Conservation - Page 76:
      The term kettle refers to a group of raptors wheeling or circling in a thermal.
    • 2010, Jean-Luc E. Cartron, Raptors of New Mexico:
      Kettles can consist of thousands of birds migrating together.
  6. (rail transport, slang) A steam locomotive
  7. (music) A kettledrum.
  8. An instance of kettling; a group of protesters or rioters confined in a limited area.
Usage notes[edit]

In most varieties of English outside the United States (UK, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian), if not specified otherwise, kettle usually refers to a vessel for boiling the water for tea.

Derived terms[edit]


kettle (third-person singular simple present kettles, present participle kettling, simple past and past participle kettled)

  1. (Britain, of the police) To contain demonstrators in a confined area.
    • 2009, John O'Connor, G20: The upside of kettling, The Guardian [1]:
      [] to contain demonstrators for hours in a confined spot. This tactic, known as kettling, is seen by some as an attempt to prevent people lawfully demonstrating.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


kettle (plural kettles)

  1. Alternative form of kiddle (kind of fishweir)


  1. ^ Hans Kurath and Raven Ioor McDavid (1961). The pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States: based upon the collections of the linguistic atlas of the Eastern United States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, p. 133.
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary 2ed. "kettle"