1. (ajective) Askew, crooked, or in disarray. It can be used to describe something that is positioned at an awkward or irregular angle, or a situation that is generally out of order or control.


After the earthquake, the pictures on the wall were all cattywampus, hanging at odd angles and giving the room a sense of disarray.


Fun Fact

The origin of “cattywampus” is a bit of a mystery, but it is believed to have first appeared in the southern United States in the 19th century. One theory suggests that it might be derived from the word “cater,” meaning diagonal or sideways, and “wampish,” an old Scottish word meaning to twist or distort. Another theory proposes that it could be related to the Greek word “kata,” meaning downward or against, and the English word “wampish,” again referring to a twisting or distorting motion. Regardless of its exact origins, “cattywampus” has become a beloved and whimsical term used to describe anything that is off-kilter, crooked, or in a state of disarray, adding a touch of humor and color to otherwise frustrating or chaotic situations.