litter

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From French litière, from lit (bed), from Latin lectus; confer Ancient Greek λέκτρον (lektron). Had the sense ‘bed’ in very early English, but then came to mean ‘portable couch’, ‘bedding’, ‘strewn rushes (for animals)’, ...

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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litter (countable and uncountable, plural litters)

  1. (countable) A platform mounted on two shafts, or a more elaborate construction, designed to be carried by two (or more) people to transport one (in luxury models sometimes more) third person(s) or (occasionally in the elaborate version) a cargo, such as a religious idol.
    • Shakespeare
      There is a litter ready; lay him in 't.
  2. (countable) The offspring of a mammal born in one birth.
    • D. Estrange
      A wolf came to a sow, and very kindly offered to take care of her litter.
  3. (uncountable) Material used as bedding for animals.
  4. (uncountable) Collectively, items discarded on the ground.
    • Jonathan Swift
      Strephon [] / Stole in, and took a strict survey / Of all the litter as it lay.
  5. (uncountable) Absorbent material used in an animal's litter tray
  6. (uncountable) Layer of fallen leaves and similar organic matter in a forest floor.
  7. A covering of straw for plants.
    • Evelyn
      Take off the litter from your kernel beds.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

litter (third-person singular simple present litters, present participle littering, simple past and past participle littered)

  1. (intransitive) To drop or throw trash without properly disposing of it (as discarding in public areas rather than trash receptacles).
    • By tossing the bottle out the window, he was littering.
  2. (transitive) To strew with scattered articles.
    • Jonathan Swift
      the room with volumes littered round
  3. (transitive) To give birth to, used of animals.
    • Sir Thomas Browne
      We might conceive that dogs were created blind, because we observe they were littered so with us.
    • Shakespeare
      The son that she did litter here, / A freckled whelp hagborn.
  4. (intransitive) To produce a litter of young.
    • Macaulay
      A desert [] where the she-wolf still littered.
  5. (transitive) To supply (cattle etc.) with litter; to cover with litter, as the floor of a stall.
    • Bishop Hacke
      Tell them how they litter their jades.
    • Dryden
      For his ease, well littered was the floor.
  6. (intransitive) To be supplied with litter as bedding; to sleep or make one's bed in litter.
    • Habington
      The inn where he and his horse littered.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Jèrriais[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French luitier, loitier, luiter (compare French lutter), from Latin luctor, luctārī (struggle, wrestle, fight).

Verb[edit]

litter

  1. to wrestle

Derived terms[edit]