Etymology
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catkin (n.)

"spike of a flowering tree or shrub (especially a willow or birch) after fruiting," 1570s, from Dutch katteken "flowering stem of willow, birch, hazel, etc.," literally "kitten," diminutive of katte "cat" (see cat (n.)). So called for their soft, furry appearance.

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Definitions of catkin

catkin (n.)
a cylindrical spikelike inflorescence;
Synonyms: ament
From wordnet.princeton.edu