ot·​ter | \ ˈä-tər How to pronounce otter (audio) \
plural otters also otter

Definition of otter

1 : any of various largely aquatic carnivorous mammals (such as genus Lutra or Enhydra) of the weasel family that usually have webbed and clawed feet and dark brown fur
2 : the fur or pelt of an otter

Illustration of otter

Illustration of otter

otter 1

Examples of otter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There will also be some new animals, including a flamingo, sloth, otter, and an adorable service dog. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "These New 2019 Emojis Are Super Inclusive and Your Group Text Will Appreciate It," 6 Feb. 2019 Member Orville Huntington suggested that the otter population will eventually limit itself. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Sea otters are wiping out Southeast dive fisheries, managers say," 21 Jan. 2018 As the rest of the world gets busier and noisier, a wild place crackling with glacier ice, mewing with baby otters and forested with twisted hemlocks and ancient cedar trees takes on significant new meaning. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "In ‘A Wild Promise,’ a wilderness area in limbo and a book with a mission," 19 May 2018 Terms to describe the natural world—such as acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, otter, raven and willow—have been banished to make room for such chilly contemporary words as blog, broadband and bullet-point. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "What to Give: Children’s Books," 15 Nov. 2018 Puget Sound is barely visible through the glass windows of the Seattle Aquarium otter tank during afternoon feeding time — a thick layer of haze obscures the view. Sean Quinton, The Seattle Times, "Mishka the asthmatic otter at Seattle Aquarium has mastered her inhaler to get through the haze," 24 Aug. 2018 An invitation from him to spend a day in the country conjures visions of a romantic picnic, but turns out to be a damp, cold, picnic-less, seemingly endless and terribly funny trek to observe otters. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘Transcription’ Review: Heard During Wartime," 20 Sep. 2018 Three years ago, Mishka the otter learned a potentially life-saving trick: breathe deeply through an inhaler. Sean Quinton, The Seattle Times, "Mishka the asthmatic otter at Seattle Aquarium has mastered her inhaler to get through the haze," 24 Aug. 2018 Watch Planet Earth unfold in real-time under towering Cecropia trees as macaws and parrots call overhead and giant otters scramble for cover. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 8 Best Experiential Eco-Lodges in South America," 19 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'otter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of otter

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for otter

Middle English oter, from Old English otor; akin to Old High German ottar otter, Greek hydōr water — more at water

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Dictionary Entries near otter






otter board

otter canoe

Statistics for otter

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for otter

The first known use of otter was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of otter

: an animal that has dark brown fur and webbed feet with claws and that eats fish


ot·​ter | \ ˈä-tər How to pronounce otter (audio) \

Kids Definition of otter

: a web-footed animal that lives mostly in the water, feeds on fish, and has dark brown fur

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More from Merriam-Webster on otter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with otter

Spanish Central: Translation of otter

Nglish: Translation of otter for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about otter

Comments on otter

What made you want to look up otter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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