[ skwot-er ]
/ ˈskwɒt ər /


a person or thing that squats.
a person who settles on land or occupies property without title, right, or payment of rent.
a person who settles on land under government regulation, in order to acquire title.

Origin of squatter

First recorded in 1775–85; squat + -er1

Related forms

squat·ter·dom, noun

Definition for squatter (2 of 2)

Origin of squat

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English squatten < Old French esquater, esquatir, equivalent to es- ex-1 + quatir < Vulgar Latin *coactīre to compress, equivalent to Latin coāct(us), past participle of cōgere to compress (co- co- + ag(ere) to drive + -tus past participle suffix) + -īre infinitive suffix; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.; (adj.) Middle English: in a squatting position, orig., past participle of the v.

Related forms

squat·ly, adverbsquat·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squatter

British Dictionary definitions for squatter (1 of 2)


/ (ˈskwɒtə) /


a person who occupies property or land to which he has no legal title
(in Australia)
  1. (formerly) a person who occupied a tract of land, esp pastoral land, as tenant of the Crown
  2. a farmer of sheep or cattle on a large scale
(in New Zealand) a 19th-century settler who took up large acreage on a Crown lease

British Dictionary definitions for squatter (2 of 2)


/ (skwɒt) /

verb squats, squatting or squatted (intr)


Also: squatty (ˈskwɒtɪ) short and broada squat chair


Derived Forms

squatly, adverbsquatness, noun

Word Origin for squat

C13: from Old French esquater, from es- ex- 1 + catir to press together, from Vulgar Latin coactīre (unattested), from Latin cōgere to compress, from co- + agere to drive
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