noun \ˈli-tər\

: things that have been thrown away and that are lying on the ground in a public place

: a messy pile or group of things

: dry material that is spread in a container and used as a toilet by animals (especially cats) while they are indoors

Full Definition of LITTER

a :  a covered and curtained couch provided with shafts and used for carrying a single passenger
b :  a device (as a stretcher) for carrying a sick or injured person
a (1) :  material used as bedding for animals (2) :  material used to absorb the urine and feces of animals
b :  the uppermost slightly decayed layer of organic matter on the forest floor
:  the offspring at one birth of a multiparous animal <a litter of puppies>
a :  trash, wastepaper, or garbage lying scattered about <trying to clean up the roadside litter>
b :  an untidy accumulation of objects <a shabby writing-desk covered with a litter of yellowish dusty documents — Joseph Conrad>
lit·tery \-tə-rē\ adjective

Examples of LITTER

  1. We decided to pick up the litter in the park.
  2. Her desk was covered with a litter of legal documents.

Illustration of LITTER

Origin of LITTER

Middle English, from Anglo-French litere, from lit bed, from Latin lectus — more at lie
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Vehicles Terms

brougham, hansom, shay, skid, sledge, sulky, wain



: to cover (a surface) with many things in an untidy way

: to throw or leave trash on the ground in a public place

Full Definition of LITTER

transitive verb
:  bed 1a
:  to give birth to a litter of (young)
a :  to strew with scattered articles
b :  to scatter about in disorder
c :  to lie about in disorder <their upside-down hats littered the top of the bar — Michael Chabon>
d :  to mark with objects scattered at random <a book littered with misprints>
intransitive verb
:  to give birth to a litter
:  to strew litter

Examples of LITTER

  1. Paper and popcorn littered the streets after the parade.
  2. a desk littered with old letters and bills
  3. It is illegal to litter.
  4. He had to pay a fine for littering.

First Known Use of LITTER

14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: litterae clausae
Previous Word in the Dictionary: litten
All Words Near: litter

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