tatter

1 of 2

verb

tat·​ter ˈta-tər How to pronounce tatter (audio)
tattered; tattering; tatters

transitive verb

: to make ragged

intransitive verb

: to become ragged

tatter

2 of 2

noun

1
: a part torn and left hanging : shred
2
tatters plural : tattered clothing : rags

Examples of tatter in a Sentence

Verb the little boy tattered that blanket beyond repair by repeatedly yanking on it
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Dangerous Toys’ tattered sway made these Austin, Texas rockers an appealing spin for fans whose appetite for destruction had yet to be satiated. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, 29 May 2020 Most of the fabric was worn, torn or tattered, and the bits that were still in good condition were too small to use for other projects. Alisha McDarris, Popular Science, 3 Apr. 2020 Coming down that highway, one’s arrival was confirmed by a row of flag poles holding international flags, tattered and generally ignored. Nathan Taylor Pemberton, New York Times, 20 Jan. 2020 So where did Ransom’s tattered cozy knit end up after filming wrapped? Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, 26 Dec. 2019 So where did Ransome’s tattered cozy knit end up after filming wrapped? Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, 3 Dec. 2019 This store, along with other Starbucks locations throughout the city, would fall prey to similar assaults during the day, leaving dozens of storefronts defaced and tattered. Grady McGregor, Fortune, 2 Oct. 2019 Over time, the pages of the book tattered, until Futhu was able to read it himself. New York Times, 8 Aug. 2019 The flag, pierced by German bullet holes and tattered by the wind, flew aboard one of the landing crafts that troops used to storm the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 19 July 2019
Noun
Described Thursday in Current Biology, these tatters of fossil skin and various skin impressions come from some of the earliest amniotes. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Jan. 2024 As many as two million people lost their lives in the ten-year conflict, and the country’s infrastructure was reduced to tatters. Merilee Grindle, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 The tatters of Scheana Shay’s friendship with Tom Sandoval will be on display in season 11 of Vanderpump Rules . Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 25 July 2023 The Federal Reserve’s credibility is in tatters. David Barker, wsj.com, 9 Apr. 2023 Many accused Vance’s office of rushing to charge the global finance titan before conducting a thorough investigation and his reputation was left in tatters. Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News, 7 Apr. 2023 Hunger and disease are lurking, and the economy is in tatters. Rahim Faiez and Edith M. Lederer, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Apr. 2023 Russia’s economy, never vibrant, is now in tatters. David Cay Johnston, The New Republic, 30 Mar. 2023 For the costume, tatter and stain a worn dress with food coloring or fabric dye. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, 29 July 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tatter.' 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

Noun

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse tǫturr tatter; akin to Old English tætteca rag, Old High German zotta matted hair, tuft

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tatter was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near tatter

Cite this Entry

“Tatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tatter. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

tatter

noun
tat·​ter
ˈtat-ər
1
: a part torn and left hanging : shred
2
plural : tattered clothing : rags
tatter verb

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