squatter

[skwot-er]
noun
1.
a person or thing that squats.
2.
a person who settles on land or occupies property without title, right, or payment of rent.
3.
a person who settles on land under government regulation, in order to acquire title.

Origin:
1775–85; squat + -er1

squatterdom, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
squatter (ˈskwɒtə)
 
n
1.  a person who occupies property or land to which he has no legal title
2.  in Australia
 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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

squat
c.1410, "crouch on the heels," from O.Fr. esquatir "press down, lay flat, crush," from es- "out" (from L. ex-) + O.Fr. quatir "press down, flatten," from V.L. *coactire "press together, force," from L. coactus, pp. of cogere "to compel, curdle, collect" (see cogent). Slang
sense of "nothing at all" first attested 1934, probably suggestive of squatting to defecate. The adjective sense of "short, thick" dates from 1630. Squatter "settler who occupies land without legal title" first recorded 1788; in ref. to paupers or homeless people in uninhabited buildings, it is recorded from 1880.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

squat definition


  1. in.
    to sit (down). : Come on in and squat for a while.
  2. n.
    nothing. (See also diddly-squat.) : I earn just a little more than squat, but I am very pleased with my life.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
Patent squatters sit on obscure patents and wait for someone else to spend the
  money to develop the idea and then they pounce.
Often the landowner doesn't act quickly enough or the police fail to drive out
  the squatters.
The territory was little more than a voluntary internment camp, a sinkhole for
  foreign relief, covered in squatters' shantytowns.
The squatters stayed, and a community grew up around them.
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