[ ot-er ]
/ ˈɒt ər /

noun, plural ot·ters, (especially collectively) ot·ter.

any of several aquatic, furbearing, weasellike mammals of the genus Lutra and related genera, having webbed feet and a long, slightly flattened tail.
the fur of an otter.

Nearby words

  1. ott,
  2. ottar,
  3. ottava,
  4. ottava rima,
  5. ottawa,
  6. otter board,
  7. otter hound,
  8. otter shell,
  9. otter shrew,
  10. otter trawl

Origin of otter

before 900; Middle English otter, oter, Old English otor, ottor; cognate with Dutch, German otter; compare Greek hýdra water serpent (see hydra), Sanskrit udra- otter; akin to water


[ ot-er ]
/ ˈɒt ər /


(in the Volsunga Saga) a son of Hreidmar, who assumed the form of an otter when fishing, and who was killed by Loki while in that form. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for otter

British Dictionary definitions for otter


/ (ˈɒtə) /

noun plural -ters or -ter

any freshwater carnivorous musteline mammal of the subfamily Lutrinae, esp Lutra lutra (Eurasian otter), typically having smooth fur, a streamlined body, and webbed feet
the fur of any of these animals
Also called: otter board a type of fishing tackle consisting of a weighted board to which hooked and baited lines are attached


to fish using an otter

Word Origin for otter

Old English otor; related to Old Norse otr, Old High German ottar, Greek hudra, Sanskrit udra

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for otter



Old English otr, otor "otter," from Proto-Germanic *otraz (cf. Old Norse otr, Swedish utter, Danish odder, Dutch otter, Old High German ottar, German Otter), from PIE *udros, literally "water-creature" (cf. Sanskrit udrah, Avestan udra "otter;" Greek hydra "water-serpent," enydris "otter;" Latin lutra, Old Church Slavonic vydra, Lithuanian udra, Old Irish odoirne "otter"), from root *wed- "water" (see water (n.1)). Sea otter attested from 1660s, also known as sea-ape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper