1. A metal pot, usually with a lid, for boiling or stewing.
2. A teakettle.
3. Music A kettledrum.
4. Geology A depression left in a mass of glacial drift, formed by the melting of an isolated block of glacial ice.
5. A pothole.
6. A group of flying raptors, especially when ascending in a rising current of warm air.
v. ket·tled, ket·tling, ket·tles
To fly on a rising current of warm air. Used of birds: hawks kettling in the distance.
Chiefly British To confine or corral (a group of people) to an enclosed area as a means of crowd control: Police kettled the protestors in a parking lot.
[Middle English ketel, from Old Norse ketill and Old English cetel, both from Latin catīllus, diminutive of catīnus, large bowl.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.