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

Definition of squatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

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



Definition of squatter (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This means shorter stems on the new buds than on the current ones which have long, slender stalks, unlike the Pro’s shorter, squatter protuberances. David Phelan, Forbes, 28 May 2021 The body of a male squatter was found in the house. Thomas Saccente, Arkansas Online, 19 May 2021 The squatter’s paradise, which vaguely feels like a free, year-round Burning Man, is in Imperial County on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea about 50 miles north of the border with Mexico. Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2021 There were no laws to stop them; squatter’s rights ruled. Longreads, 5 Feb. 2021 Police officials said the landlord lied about Burney being a squatter, adding that Burney would be compensated for her lost property. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, 11 Apr. 2021 In recent years, mobs have attacked a Venezuelan migrant community in Ecuador and burned down a squatter camp just inside Brazil’s border with Venezuela. John Otis, WSJ, 23 Feb. 2021 Women couldn’t own land at the time, and a male squatter tried to take title of the property, Preston said. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Oct. 2020 The smaller, squatter size and decorative style make this a great option for small offices, or work-from-home spaces. Popular Science, 17 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'squatter.' 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 squatter


1785, in the meaning defined above


1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squatter



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Time Traveler for squatter

Time Traveler

The first known use of squatter was in 1785

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Cite this Entry

“Squatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squatter. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for squatter



English Language Learners Definition of squatter

: someone who lives in a building or on land without the permission of the owner and without paying : someone who squats


squat·​ter | \ ˈskwä-tər \

Legal Definition of squatter

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on squatter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squatter

Britannica English: Translation of squatter for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about squatter


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