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Webster 1913 Edition


Litter

Lit′ter

(lĭt′tẽr)
,
Noun.
[F.
litière
, LL.
lectaria
, fr. L.
lectus
couch, bed. See
Lie
to be prostrated, and cf.
Coverlet
.]
1.
A bed or stretcher so arranged that a person, esp. a sick or wounded person, may be easily carried in or upon it.
There is a
litter
ready; lay him in ’t.
Shakespeare
2.
Straw, hay, etc., scattered on a floor, as bedding for animals to rest on; also, a covering of straw for plants.
To crouch in
litter
of your stable planks.
Shakespeare
Take off the
litter
from your kernel beds.
Evelyn.
3.
Things lying scattered about in a manner indicating slovenliness; scattered rubbish.
Strephon, who found the room was void.
Stole in, and took a strict survey
Of all the
litter
as it lay.
Swift.
4.
Disorder or untidiness resulting from scattered rubbish, or from thongs lying about uncared for;
as, a room in a state of
litter
.
5.
The young brought forth at one time, by a cat, dog, sow or other multiparous animal, taken collectively. Also Fig.
A wolf came to a sow, and very kindly offered to take care of her
litter
.
D. Estrange.
Reflect upon that numerous
litter
of strange, senseless opinions that crawl about the world.
South.

Lit′ter

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Littered
(lĭt′tẽrd)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Littering
.]
1.
To supply with litter, as cattle; to cover with litter, as the floor of a stall.
Tell them how they
litter
their jades.
Bp. Hackett.
For his ease, well
littered
was the floor.
Dryden.
2.
To put into a confused or disordered condition; to strew with scattered articles;
as, to
litter
a room
.
The room with volumes
littered
round.
Swift.
3.
To give birth to; to bear; – said of brutes, esp. those which produce more than one at a birth, and also of human beings, in abhorrence or contempt.
We might conceive that dogs were created blind, because we observe they were
littered
so with us.
Sir T. Browne.
The son that she did
litter
here,
A freckled whelp hagborn.
Shakespeare

Lit′ter

(lĭt′tẽr)
,
Verb.
I.
1.
To be supplied with litter as bedding; to sleep or make one's bed in litter.
[R.]
The inn
Where he and his horse
littered
.
Habington.
2.
To produce a litter.
A desert . . . where the she-wolf still
littered
.
Macaulay.

Webster 1828 Edition


Litter

LIT'TER

,
Noun.
[L. lectus, from the root of lego, Eng. lay.]
1.
A vehicle formed with shafts supporting a bed between them, in which a person may be borne by men or by a horse. If by the latter, it is called a horse-litter. A similar vehicle in India is called a palanquin.
2.
Straw, hay or other soft substance, used as a bed for horses and for other purposes.
3.
A brood of young pigs, kittens, puppies or other quadrupeds. The word is applied only to certain quadrupeds of the smaller kinds.
4.
A birth of pigs or other small animals.
5.
Waste matters, shreds, fragments and the like, scattered on a floor or other clean place.

LIT'TER

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To bring forth young, as swine and other small quadrupeds. It is sometimes applied to human beings in contempt.
2.
To scatter over carelessly with shreds, fragments and the like; as, to litter a room or a carpet.
3.
To cover with straw or hay; as, to litter a stable.
4.
To supply with litter; as to litter cattle.

Definition 2022


litter

litter

English

Noun

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. (collective, 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

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

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

Translations

Anagrams


Norman

Etymology

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

Verb

litter

  1. (Jersey) to wrestle

Derived terms