squatter

1 of 2

verb

squat·​ter ˈskwä-tər How to pronounce squatter (audio)
squattered; squattering; squatters

intransitive verb

: to go along through or as if through water
ducks squattering to the shore

squatter

2 of 2

noun

: one that squats: such as
a
: one that settles on property without right or title or payment of rent
b
: one that settles on public land under government regulation with the purpose of acquiring title

Examples of squatter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Spenard is named for the bootlegger and squatter Joe Spenard. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 1 June 2020
Noun
Two Instagram accounts, Camden Art Cafe and Autonomous Winter Shelter, have identified themselves as the squatters, detailing plans on social media to turn the space into an art cafe. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 15 Apr. 2024 The squatters have more rights than the homeowners. Pilar Arias, Fox News, 9 Apr. 2024 The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Oakland fire officials said, but there were signs that squatters had broken into the building and were illegally occupying the former pharmacy’s basement. Kate Talerico, The Mercury News, 6 Apr. 2024 But for months prior, neighbors of 1316 Beverly Grove Place had raised complaints about the squatters, reportedly to no avail. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Florida passed a law allowing squatters to be criminally charged. Ashley Riegle, ABC News, 29 Mar. 2024 Atlanta has also seen a massive increase of squatters. Emma Colton, Fox News, 4 Apr. 2024 But several attracted squatters in recent years, and in 2019 the police swooped on two that were being used as cannabis factories. Stephen Castle, New York Times, 3 Apr. 2024 Squatting is extremely rare, according to experts — so rare that there is no reliable data available on the number of squatters across the country. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'squatter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

imitative

First Known Use

Verb

1785, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1788, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of squatter was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near squatter

Cite this Entry

“Squatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squatter. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

squatter

noun
squat·​ter
ˈskwät-ər
1
: one that squats
2
a
: one that settles on land without right or title or payment of rent
b
: one that settles on public land under government regulation with the purpose of acquiring title

Legal Definition

squatter

noun
squat·​ter
ˈskwä-tər
: a person who occupies real property without a claim of right or title

Note: In most jurisdictions, a squatter cannot gain title to land through adverse possession because adverse possession requires possession of the property under a claim of right or color of title.

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