Syrup boiling in kettles over a fire.
- The definition of a kettle is a metal pot or other container used for boiling.
An example of a kettle is what you'd use to boil water for tea.
- a metal container for boiling or cooking things; pot
- a teakettle
- a kettledrum
- Geol.also kettle hole
- a depression in glacial drift remaining after the melting of an isolated mass of buried ice
- a kettle-shaped hole in rock, gravel, etc.
Origin of kettleMiddle English ketel ; from Old Norse ketill, akin to Old English cetel, German kessel, Gothic katils, early Germanic loanword ; from Classical Latin catillus, diminutive of catinus, container for food
- A metal pot, usually with a lid, for boiling or stewing.
- A teakettle.
- Music A kettledrum.
- Geology A depression left in a mass of glacial drift, formed by the melting of an isolated block of glacial ice.
- A pothole.
Origin of kettleMiddle English ketel, from Old Norse ketill and Old English cetel, both from Latin catīllus, diminutive of catīnus, large bowl.
- A vessel for boiling a liquid or cooking food, usually metal and equipped with a lid.
- The quantity held by a kettle.
- (UK) A vessel for boiling water for tea; a teakettle.
- Stick the kettle on and we'll have a nice cup of tea.
- (geology) A kettle hole, sometimes any pothole.
- (ornithology) A collective term for a group of raptors riding a thermal, especially when migrating.
- (rail transport, slang) A steam locomotive
- (music) A kettledrum.
In British English, if not specified otherwise, the kettle usually refers to a vessel for boiling the water for tea.
(third-person singular simple present kettles, present participle kettling, simple past and past participle kettled)
- (UK, of the police) To contain demonstrators in a confined area.
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 (katils, “kettle”). Compare also Russian котёл (kotjól, “boiler, cauldron”).