- 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.
- to tear or wear to tatters.
- to become ragged.
Origin of tatter1
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. 2018
- to make or become ragged or worn to shreds
- (plural) torn or ragged pieces, esp of material
- in tatters
- torn to pieces; in shreds
- destroyed or ruined
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 tattering
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