|—vb , squats, squatting, squatted|
|1.||to rest in a crouching position with the knees bent and the weight on the feet|
|2.||to crouch down, esp in order to hide|
|3.||(tr) law to occupy land or property to which the occupant has no legal title|
|4.||weightlifting to crouch down to one's knees and rise to a standing position while holding (a specified weight) behind one's neck|
|5.||Also: squatty short and broad: a squat chair|
|6.||a squatting position|
|7.||weightlifting an exercise in which a person crouches down and rises up repeatedly while holding a barbell at shoulder height|
|8.||a house occupied by squatters|
|[C13: from Old French esquater, from es-|
|1.||a person who occupies property or land to which he has no legal title|
|a. (formerly) a person who occupied a tract of land, esp pastoral land, as tenant of the Crown|
|b. a farmer of sheep or cattle on a large scale|
|3.||(in New Zealand) a 19th-century settler who took up large acreage on a Crown lease|
in 19th-century Australian history, an illegal occupier of crown grazing land beyond the prescribed limits of settlement. The inroad of squatters contributed to the growth of the country's wool industry and to the development of a powerful social class in Australian life. By the late 1840s the authorities recognized the economic good derived from the squatters' activity and issued them leases for their sheep runs and tenure extending as long as 14 years. By this time the squatters had a hold on the land; many had become wealthy grandees.
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