See also: Litter

EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

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

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

 
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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.
  2. (collective, countable) The offspring of a mammal born in one birth.
    • (Can we date this quote by L'Estrange and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jonathan Swift and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Evelyn and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Take off the litter from your kernel beds.

SynonymsEdit

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TranslationsEdit

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

VerbEdit

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 scatter carelessly about.
  3. (transitive) To strew (a place) with scattered articles.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jonathan Swift and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      the room with volumes littered round
  4. (transitive) To give birth to, used of animals.
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir Thomas Browne and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      We might conceive that dogs were created blind, because we observe they were littered so with us.
    • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii]:
      The son that she did litter here, / A freckled whelp hagborn.
  5. (intransitive) To produce a litter of young.
    • (Can we date this quote by Macaulay and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      A desert [] where the she-wolf still littered.
  6. (transitive) To supply (cattle etc.) with litter; to cover with litter, as the floor of a stall.
    • (Can we date this quote by Bishop Hacke and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Tell them how they litter their jades.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      For his ease, well littered was the floor.
  7. (intransitive) To be supplied with litter as bedding; to sleep or make one's bed in litter.
    • (Can we date this quote by Habington and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The inn where he and his horse littered.

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NormanEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

VerbEdit

litter

  1. (Jersey) to wrestle

Derived termsEdit