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 In the squatter colony beneath me several women crouched before their huts, cooking breakfast on kerosene stoves. New York Times, 12 July 2022 Authorities filed murder charges against a resident of the same building who had purportedly threatened to kill the squatter for breaking into his apartment. Alan Judd, ajc, 13 June 2022 For days when a brand new whitehead decides to claim squatter's rights on your face, plop one of these hydrocolloid patches on. ELLE, 23 June 2022 The only noticeable difference is that a slim, narrow black marking on the earbud is replaced by a shorter, squatter black lozenge. David Phelan, Forbes, 5 June 2022 Swapping in butter could lead to a squatter cake with a less velvety crumb. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 Often at the center of these ashen expanses was a single shack inhabited by a squatter. Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2022 The law firm, says Josh Gerben, founder of Gerben Intellectual Property, is likely to be fronting for someone else, perhaps a squatter who hopes to trademark the name, Uncle Vanya, and then sell it to a McDonald’s wannabe in Russia. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 George is squatter, rounder, and given to wearing suits even on horseback. New York Times, 30 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of squatter was in 1785

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squatter's right

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Cite this Entry

“Squatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squatter. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for squatter


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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