tattered

[tat-erd]

adjective

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 formsun·tat·tered, adjective

tatter

1
[tat-er]

noun

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

1
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


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British Dictionary definitions for tattered

tattered

adjective

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

tatter

verb

to make or become ragged or worn to shreds

noun

(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

Word Origin and History for tattered

tatter

v.

mid-14c., "clad in slashed garments," from Old Norse toturr "rag," cognate with Old English tættec, tætteca "rag, tatter," Low German tater "tatter." The noun is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper