otter

noun
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 Luckily, there was an otter named Pumpkin at Sea Life Scarborough sanctuary, who had recently lost her own elderly partner named Eric. Mallory Hughes, CNN, "A lonely otter at a sanctuary finds love online through a dating site built just for him," 4 Oct. 2020 Over the years, Gyselman has witnessed a black bear digging for bugs, watched an otter make a dash into the Pacific and seen a mama black tail deer and her fawn walking through the fog at Rialto Beach. Sarah Sekula, USA TODAY, "Heading to Seattle? Here's how to fit in day trips to national parks like Mount Rainier," 29 Sep. 2020 Investigators deploy an otter dummy to get a closer look and witness one of the most spectacular attacks in Shark Week history. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Shark Week 2020 (8/11/20) live stream: How to watch Will Smith confront sharks online, time, TV," 11 Aug. 2020 Investigators deploy an otter dummy to get a closer look and witness one of the most spectacular attacks in Shark Week history. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Shark Week 2020 (8/11/20) live stream: How to watch Will Smith confront sharks online, time, TV," 11 Aug. 2020 As otter populations recovered, these changes worked in reverse as the otters’ doings as a top predator flow down through the ecosystem. James Dinneen, Smithsonian Magazine, "Bringing Back Sea Otters Benefits People, Too," 12 June 2020 Investigators deploy an otter dummy to get a closer look and witness one of the most spectacular attacks in Shark Week history. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Shark Week 2020 (8/11/20) live stream: How to watch Will Smith confront sharks online, time, TV," 11 Aug. 2020 Investigators deploy an otter dummy to get a closer look and witness one of the most spectacular attacks in Shark Week history. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Shark Week 2020 (8/11/20) live stream: How to watch Will Smith confront sharks online, time, TV," 11 Aug. 2020 One of his favorite pieces of driftwood resembles an otter laying on its back and swimming. Lyndi Mcnulty, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "An Eye for Art: Westminster woodworker, in the business of giving, spreads the message to ‘Be Kind'," 15 Aug. 2020

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 otre, oter, otir, going back to Old English otr, oter, otor, going back to Germanic *utra- (whence also Middle Dutch otter "otter," Old High German ottar, Old Norse otr), going back to Indo-European *ud-r-o- "aquatic animal" (whence also Sanskrit udráḥ "aquatic animal, otter," Avestan udra-) with a feminine variant *ud-r-eh2-, whence Latin lutra "otter" (with unetymological l- and -t-), Russian výdra, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian vȉdra, Lithuanian ū́dra, Old Prussian udro (Balto-Slavic with vowel lengthening and acute accent), Greek hýdra "aquatic snake, hydra" (also hýdros "the grass snake Natrix natrix," énydris "otter"); both forms zero-grade derivatives of Indo-European *u̯ód-r-/*u̯ed-n- "water" — more at water entry 1

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Time Traveler for otter

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Otter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/otter. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for otter

otter

noun
How to pronounce otter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of otter

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

otter

noun
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for otter

Nglish: Translation of otter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about otter

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