verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- the best or choicest of the animals, especially puppies, in a litter.
- the best of any class, group, or available selection.
Origin of litter
Synonyms for litter
Examples from the Web for litter
Contemporary Examples of litter
We coo over how cute our cat is and minimize the drudgery of cleaning the litter box.Why Didn’t Camille Dump Bill Cosby?
December 17, 2014
According to Swiss press reports, younger cats in the litter are the most tender and, as such, are the preferred cat cuts.Will the Swiss Quit Cooking their Kittens and Puppies?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 30, 2014
You'd think that when you get the pick of the litter, the litter would be great.Clooney: A Constant Charmer at the Altar
September 28, 2014
Remember when Chandler was sexually attracted to sharks and Phoebe raised a litter of baby rats?15 Times ‘Friends’ Was Really, Really Weird
September 18, 2014
Bucking and running into the forest, the deer collapsed dead in a litter of leaves.Inside The Growing Organic Halal Movement
September 7, 2014
Historical Examples of litter
The horses were without stalls or litter, in a dark, ill-paved barn.
There was such a litter as always gathers around a literary man.Biographical Sketches
I flushed to see her regard the litter about me with calm deliberateness.The Bacillus of Beauty
The hallways were strewn with straw and the litter of packing.In the Valley
The boys took turns with Trapper Jim in carrying the litter.With Trapper Jim in the North Woods
Lawrence J. Leslie
- small refuse or waste materials carelessly dropped, esp in public places
- (as modifier)litter bin
Word Origin for litter
c.1300, "a bed," also "bed-like vehicle carried on men's shoulders" (early 14c.), from Anglo-French litere "portable bed," Old French litiere "litter, stretcher, bier; straw, bedding," from Medieval Latin lectaria "litter" (altered in French by influence of lit "bed"), from Latin lectus "bed, couch," from PIE *legh-to-, from root *legh- "to lie" (see lie (v.2)).
Meaning extended early 15c. to "straw used for bedding" (early 14c. in Anglo-French) and late 15c. to "offspring of an animal at one birth" (in one bed); sense of "scattered oddments, disorderly debris" is first attested 1730, probably from Middle English verb literen "provide with bedding" (late 14c.), with notion of strewing straw. Litter by 19c. had come to mean both the straw bedding and the animal waste in it after use.