from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A metal pot, usually with a lid, for boiling or stewing.
  • noun A teakettle.
  • noun Music A kettledrum.
  • noun Geology A depression left in a mass of glacial drift, formed by the melting of an isolated block of glacial ice.
  • noun A pothole.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as kiddle
  • A variant of kittle.
  • noun A vessel of iron, copper, tin, or other metal, of various shapes and dimensions, used for boiling or heating water and other liquids, or for cooking vegetables, etc., by boiling. Compare camp-kettle, tea-kettle.
  • noun A tin pail. [Local, U. S.] A kettledrum.
  • noun figuratively, a cavity or depression suggesting the interior of a kettle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A metallic vessel, with a wide mouth, often without a cover, used for heating and boiling water or other liguids.
  • noun [Obs.] ninepins; skittles.
  • noun (Bookbinding) the stitch made in sewing at the head and tail of a book.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A vessel for boiling a liquid or cooking food, usually metal and equipped with a lid.
  • noun The quantity held by a kettle.
  • noun UK A vessel for boiling water for tea; a teakettle.
  • noun geology A kettle hole, sometimes any pothole.
  • noun ornithology A collective term for a group of raptors riding a thermal, especially when migrating.
  • noun rail transport, slang A steam locomotive
  • noun music A kettledrum.
  • verb UK, of the police To contain demonstrators in a confined area.

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

  • noun a large hemispherical brass or copper percussion instrument with a drumhead that can be tuned by adjusting the tension on it
  • noun the quantity a kettle will hold
  • noun a metal pot for stewing or boiling; usually has a lid
  • noun (geology) a hollow (typically filled by a lake) that results from the melting of a mass of ice trapped in glacial deposits


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

[Middle English ketel, from Old Norse ketill and Old English cetel, both from Latin catīllus, diminutive of catīnus, large bowl.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English ketel, also chetel, from Old Norse ketill and Old English cytel, cetel, citel ("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 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 ("kettle"), Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐍄𐌹𐌻𐍃 (katils, "kettle"). Compare also Russian котёл (kotjól, "boiler, cauldron").



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  • “A kettle is a term that birdwatchers use to describe a group of birds wheeling and circling in the air.”

    - Wikipedia

    April 16, 2009

  • Especially hawks.

    April 16, 2009

  • Indeed! :-)

    April 17, 2009