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See also: Kite



The black-winged kite.
Toy kites.
A kite shape.


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English kite, kete, from Old English cȳta (kite, bittern), from Proto-Germanic *kūtijô, diminutive of *kūts (bird of prey), from Proto-Indo-European *gū- (to cry, screech). Cognate with Scots kyt, kyte (kite, bird of prey), Middle High German kiuzelīn, kützlīn (owling), German Kauz (barn owl, screech owl).

Alternative formsEdit

  • kight (obsolete; bird of prey)


kite (plural kites)

  1. A bird of prey of the family Accipitridae belonging to one of the following groups:
    1. Any bird of subfamily Milvinae, with long wings and weak legs, feeding mostly on carrion and spending long periods soaring.
    2. A bird of genus Elanus, having thin pointed wings, that preys on rodents and hunts by hovering. Also, any bird of related genera in the subfamily Elaninae.
    A pair of kites built a nest on the cliff.
  2. A lightweight toy or other device carried on the wind and tethered and controlled from the ground by one or more lines.
    On windy spring days, we would fly kites.
  3. A tethered object which deflects its position in a medium by obtaining lift and drag in reaction with its relative motion in the medium.
    • 1906, September 12, Water Kites[1], page 2:
      The purpose of the water kite is to float beneath or beside the ship at a depth sufficient to insure safety.
  4. (geometry) A quadrilateral having two pairs of edges of equal length, the edges of each pair being consecutive.
    Four-sided figures without parallel sides include trapezoids and kites.
  5. (banking) A fraudulent draft, such as a check one drawn on insufficient funds or with altered face value.
    • 1991, May 21, “Alex Barnum”, in Suspect Named in Kiting Case[2], page 8E:
      But she said, "if this was a kite, he didn't realize that you don't have the float time of the old days," which made check-kiting easier.
  6. (astrology) A planetary configuration wherein one planet of a grand trine is in opposition to an additional fourth planet.
    • 2002, Erin Sullivan, Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape[3], ISBN 8120818318, page 144-145:
      Frequently a kite formation is created by one of the planets in the trine by its opposition to another planet, which allows expulsion and redirection of the pent-up energy associated with a closed circuit.
  7. (slang) An aircraft, or aeroplane.
    • 2004, Harry Foxley, Marking Time: An Account Of Ordinary Soldiering[4], ISBN 1412015871, page 133:
      This time, the engine roared and the kite rocked against the brakes then sluggishly rolled down the strip.
  8. (sailing, dated) A lightweight sail set above the topgallants, such as a studding-sail.
    • 1863, Ralph Waldo Emerson, English Traits, page 33:
      Our good master keeps his kites up to the last moment, studding-sails alow and aloft, and, by incessant straight steering, never loses a rod of way.
  9. (sailing, slang) A spinnaker.
  10. (US, slang, prison) A short letter.
  11. (figuratively) A rapacious person.
    • Shakespeare
      Detested kite, thou liest.
  12. (Britain, dialect) A fish, the brill.
  13. (cycling, slang) A rider who is good at climbs but less good at descents.
Derived termsEdit


kite (third-person singular simple present kites, present participle kiting, simple past and past participle kited)

  1. (rare, usually with "go") To fly a kite.
    I'm going kiting this weekend.
  2. To glide in the manner of a kite.
    The wind kited us toward shore.
  3. To travel by kite, as when kitesurfing.
    We spent the afternoon kiting around the bay.
  4. To toss or cast.
    • 1942, Cornell Woolrich (William Irish), Phantom Lady[5], page 189:
      Lombard swung at the sweet pea he had dropped, caught it neatly with the toe of his shoe, and kited it upward with grim zest, as though doing that made him feel a lot better.
  5. (banking) To write a check on an account with insufficient funds, expecting that funds will become available by the time the check clears.
    He was convicted of kiting checks and sentenced to two years in prison.
  6. (US) To cause an increase, especially in costs.
    Rising interest rates have kited the cost of housing.
  7. (video games) To keep ahead of (a pursuing monster or mob) in order to attack it repeatedly from a distance, without exposing oneself to danger.
    • 2001, Juanita Jones, Everquest Player's Guide: Prima's Official Strategy Guide[6], ISBN 0761537627, page 87:
      If you're pulling or kiting a creature and it aggros an innocent passer-by, it's your fault and you should apologize.
  8. (nautical, engineering) To deflect sideways in the water.
    • 1973, Clarence K. Chatten, Weather Resistant Segmented Fairing for a Tow Cable, US Patent 3899991:
      This column action causes the tow line to kite either to the port or the starboard side, []
  9. (US, slang, prison) To send a short letter.
    • 1966, Rose Giallombardo, Society of Women: A Study of a Women's Prison[7], page 242:
      I have been working like a dam mule this morning and just found time to kite you.
  10. (US, slang) To steal.
    • 1994, Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption[8], ISBN 0451183940, page 36:
      Andy also kept a box of that in his cell, although he didn't get it from me — I imagine he kited it from the prison laundry.
  11. (obsolete) To hunt with a hawk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Origin uncertain. Possibly from Middle English *kit, *kid (attested only in compounds: kidney), from Old English cwiþ (belly, womb), from Proto-Germanic *kweþuz (stomach, belly), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷet-, *gut- (swelling, rounding; stomach, entrails), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷu-, *gū- (to bend, curve, bow, vault, distend). Cognate with Icelandic kýta (stomach of a fish, roe), West Flemish kijte, kiete (fleshy part of the body), Middle Low German kūt (entrails), Icelandic kviður (stomach), kviði (womb).

Alternative formsEdit


kite (plural kites)

  1. (Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) The stomach; belly.

Etymology 3Edit

Probably from Ancient Egyptian.


kite (plural kite)

  1. (rare) A weight-measure unit from Ancient Egypt, equivalent to 0.1 deben


Haitian CreoleEdit


From French quitter (leave)



  1. let
    • Haitian Creole Bible, Jòb 10.18:
      Bondye, poukisa ou te kite m' soti nan vant manman m'? Mwen ta mouri anvan pesonn ta wè m'.
      God, why did you let me leave my mother's belly? I would have died before anyone would have seen me.




  1. Rōmaji transcription of きて



kite (used in the form kite-a)

  1. to see