- objects strewn or scattered about; scattered rubbish.
- a condition of disorder or untidiness: We were appalled at the litter of the room.
- a number of young brought forth by a multiparous animal at one birth: a litter of six kittens.
- a framework of cloth stretched between two parallel bars, for the transportation of a sick or wounded person; stretcher.
- a vehicle carried by people or animals, consisting of a bed or couch, often covered and curtained, suspended between shafts.
- straw, hay, or the like, used as bedding for animals or as protection for plants.
- the layer of slightly decomposed organic material on the surface of the floor of the forest.
- cat litter.
- to strew (a place) with scattered objects, rubbish, etc.: to be fined for littering the sidewalk.
- to scatter (objects) in disorder: They littered their toys from one end of the playroom to the other.
- to be strewn about (a place) in disorder (often followed by up): Bits of paper littered the floor.
- to give birth to (young), as a multiparous animal.
- to supply (an animal) with litter for a bed.
- to use (straw, hay, etc.) for litter.
- to cover (a floor or other area) with straw, hay, etc., for litter.
- to give birth to a litter: The cat had littered in the closet.
- to strew objects about: If you litter, you may be fined.
- pick of the litter,
- the best or choicest of the animals, especially puppies, in a litter.
- the best of any class, group, or available selection.
Origin of litter
SynonymsSee more synonyms for litter on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for littering
Littering the living room floor were old sports pages and letters and newspaper clippings.Football Great Bob Suffridge Wanders Through the End Zone of Life
September 6, 2014
No littering,” “no smoking,” “no cooking,” “no camping,” “no dogs,” “no glass containers,” “no alcohol,” “no bonfires.Why I Hate The Beach
P. J. O’Rourke
July 27, 2014
While they were found guilty for only littering, witness testimony included examples of healthy animals being euthanized.PETA Gone Wild: Flour Bombing Kim Kardashian, Accusing HBO of “Murder”
April 2, 2012
The always-adaptive Taliban forced Americans to rely more on helicopters by littering Afghan roads with IEDs.The Taliban’s Bait Game
August 12, 2011
As the day went on, I often sat with them up to my shoulders, and littering all the patio.Much Darker Days
Andrew Lang (AKA A. Huge Longway)
The flowers on the box caught at branches and twigs, falling, littering the route.When the Owl Cries
On the other hand, animals sometimes suffer in littering, and even die of it.Instigations
He had a grand time, revelling with pen and pad and littering the floor with inked sheets unnumbered and still wet.When Winter Comes to Main Street
Grant Martin Overton
Writing tools and desk he had already collected; there were plenty of these littering the building in every corner."Unto Caesar"
Baroness Emmuska Orczy
- small refuse or waste materials carelessly dropped, esp in public places
- (as modifier)litter bin
- a disordered or untidy condition or a collection of objects in this condition
- a group of offspring produced at one birth by a mammal such as a sow
- a layer of partly decomposed leaves, twigs, etc, on the ground in a wood or forest
- straw, hay, or similar material used as bedding, protection, etc, by animals or plants
- See cat litter
- a means of conveying people, esp sick or wounded people, consisting of a light bed or seat held between parallel sticks
- to make (a place) untidy by strewing (refuse)
- to scatter (objects, etc) about or (of objects) to lie around or upon (anything) in an untidy fashion
- (of pigs, cats, etc) to give birth to (offspring)
- (tr) to provide (an animal or plant) with straw or hay for bedding, protection, etc
Word Origin and History for littering
1540s, of animals, "process of bringing forth young in a single birth," verbal noun from present participle of litter (v.). Meaning "act of furnishing with bedding" is from c.1600. That of "act of dropping litter" is from 1900.
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.
- A flat supporting framework, such as a piece of canvas stretched between parallel shafts, for carrying a disabled or dead person; a stretcher.
- The offspring produced at one birth by a multiparous mammal.brood