[ tat-erd ]
/ ˈtæt ərd /


torn to tatters; ragged: a tattered flag.
wearing ragged clothing: a tattered old man.

Origin of tattered

1300–50; Middle English; see tatter1 (noun), -ed3

Related forms

un·tat·tered, adjective

Definition for tattered (2 of 2)


[ tat-er ]
/ ˈtæt ər /


a torn piece hanging loose from the main part, as of a garment or flag.
a separate torn piece; shred.
tatters, torn or ragged clothing: dressed in rags and tatters.

verb (used with object)

to tear or wear to tatters.

verb (used without object)

to become ragged.

Origin of tatter

1375–1425; (noun) late Middle English < Old Norse tǫturr rag, tatter; akin to Old English tætteca rag, shred; (v.) back formation from tattered
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tattered

British Dictionary definitions for tattered (1 of 2)


/ (ˈtætəd) /


ragged or worna tattered old book
wearing ragged or torn clothingtattered refugees
damaged, defeated, or in disarrayhe believes he can bring the tattered party together

British Dictionary definitions for tattered (2 of 2)


/ (ˈtætə) /


to make or become ragged or worn to shreds


(plural) torn or ragged pieces, esp of material
in tatters
  1. torn to pieces; in shreds
  2. destroyed or ruined

Word Origin for tatter

C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic töturr rag, Old English tættec, Old High German zæter rag
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