Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Subtly cruel or malicious; spiteful: a catty remark.
  • adj. Catlike; stealthy.
  • n. Any of various units of weight used in Southeast Asia, especially a Chinese measure equal to 500 grams (approximately 1.1 pounds).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. With subtle hostility in an effort to hurt, annoy, or upset.
  • adj. Resembling or characteristic of a cat.
  • n. A (unit of) weight used in China, generally standardized as half a kilogram.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An East Indian Weight of 11/3 pounds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name given by foreigners to the Chinese kin or pound.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. marked by or arising from malice
  • n. any of various units of weight used in southeastern Asia (especially a Chinese measure equal to 500 grams)

Etymologies

Malay kati.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
cat +‎ -y (Wiktionary)
From Malay kati, from the Chinese (Mandarin: 'jīn'). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The girls in this school, I thought, gave the word catty a new meaning.

    Melody

  • Ros-Lehtinen, who attended a White House function Monday, used the word catty in reference to late-night tweet.

    NBC Miami - Top Stories

  • "But it's just as well to tell Marie, so that in case Idina should do something -- one of those things women call 'catty' -- she'd be prepared."

    The Guests Of Hercules

  • They criticize aspects of the scientists 'behavior, which they basically call catty and unprofessional, but the science is sound.

    Badtux the Snarky Penguin

  • Nikki Haley Wants To Drug Test Applicants For Unemployment Benefits Nikki Haley-you're being 'catty' - Was There a Case for War?

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Best known as the catty assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, Blunt's other royal roles include Princess Isolda andand Catherine Howard in the TV dramas Boudica and Henry VIII.

    BBC News - Home

  • In the ad the announcer refers to Frank as "catty," Boxer as "arrogant," and Pelosi as "in charge."

    Ad of the day: Angle goes after Obama ahead of campaign visit

  • Girls have earned the cultural labels of being "catty" or even being "meaner" than boys.

    Tabby Biddle: Are Girls Really Meaner?

  • Carlson, who says he has withheld many "catty" personal comments, calls the out-of-context charge "a red herring designed to draw attention away from the fact that they were coordinating on behalf of Barack Obama."

    Getting the message on Journolist's controversial postings

  • Trying to think up some "catty" comments, but "Memories" is somehow stuck in my head.

    The Cat's Meow

Comments

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  • In China and southeast Asia, a weight equal to about 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) avoirdupois.

    March 28, 2007