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squatter

[skwot-er] /ˈskwɒt ər/
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
1775-1785
1775-85; squat + -er1
Related forms
squatterdom, noun

squat

[skwot] /skwɒt/
verb (used without object), squatted or squat, squatting.
1.
to sit in a low or crouching position with the legs drawn up closely beneath or in front of the body; sit on one's haunches or heels.
2.
to crouch down or cower, as an animal.
3.
to settle on or occupy property, especially otherwise unoccupied property, without any title, right, or payment of rent.
4.
to settle on public land under government regulation, in order to acquire title.
5.
Nautical. (of a vessel, especially a power vessel) to draw more water astern when in motion forward than when at rest.
verb (used with object), squatted or squat, squatting.
6.
to cause to squat.
7.
to occupy (property) as a squatter.
adjective, squatter, squattest.
8.
(of a person, animal, the body, etc.) short and thickset.
9.
low and thick or broad:
The building had a squat shape.
10.
seated or being in a squatting position; crouching.
noun
11.
the act or fact of squatting.
12.
a squatting position or posture.
13.
a weightlifting exercise in which a person squats and then returns to an erect position while holding a barbell at the back of the shoulders.
14.
Nautical. the tendency of a vessel to draw more water astern when in motion than when stationary.
15.
Slang. doodly-squat.
16.
a place occupied by squatters.
Origin
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English squatten < Old French esquater, esquatir, equivalent to es- ex-1 + quatir < Vulgar Latin *coactīre to compress, equivalent to Latin coāct(us), past participle of cōgere to compress (co- co- + ag(ere) to drive + -tus past participle suffix) + -īre infinitive suffix; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.; (adj.) Middle English: in a squatting position, orig., past participle of the v.
Related forms
squatly, adverb
squatness, noun
Synonyms
8. dumpy, stocky, square.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for squatter
  • squatter families move into these forests to grow their patches of millet and maize.
  • My goal is to change the, look of squatter communities world wide.
  • From perspective of landlord, they have a major squatter problem.
  • The party bosses may snub her, but she remains hugely popular among the poorest, the people of squatter camps and tin shacks.
  • Before, when they lived in squatter camps, they drew water from a communal tap and used paraffin lamps.
  • Not far from me was a little one-roomed squatter's hut of wood, surrounded by a patch of potato garden.
  • We can't really tell if this fire was also caused by a squatter.
  • But in many cases, biologists have little insight on the relationship between host and squatter.
  • So will the rat control people be offering a permanent solution to the squatter problem.
  • Some cyber-squatter has taken the name and wants a exorbitant fee to give the name back.
British Dictionary definitions for squatter

squatter

/ˈskwɒtə/
noun
1.
a person who occupies property or land to which he has no legal title
2.
(in Australia)
  1. (formerly) a person who occupied a tract of land, esp pastoral land, as tenant of the Crown
  2. 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

squat

/skwɒt/
verb (intransitive) 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.
(law) (transitive) 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
adjective
5.
Also squatty (ˈskwɒtɪ). short and broad: a squat chair
noun
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
Derived Forms
squatly, adverb
squatness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French esquater, from es-ex-1 + catir to press together, from Vulgar Latin coactīre (unattested), from Latin cōgere to compress, from co- + agere to drive
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
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Word Origin and History for squatter
n.

"settler who occupies land without legal title," 1788, agent noun from squat (v.); in reference to paupers or homeless people in uninhabited buildings, it is recorded from 1880.

squat

v.

early 15c., "crouch on the heels," from Old French esquatir "press down, lay flat, crush," from es- "out" (from Latin ex-) + Old French quatir "press down, flatten," from Vulgar Latin *coactire "press together, force," from Latin coactus, past participle of cogere "to compel, curdle, collect" (see cogent). Related: Squatted; squatting. Slang noun sense of "nothing at all" first attested 1934, probably suggestive of squatting to defecate. The adjective sense of "short, thick" dates from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for squatter

squaresville

adjective

: on campus, where it once was squaresville to flip for the rock scene

noun

A putative city inhabited entirely by dull, conventional people: The Innocent Nihilists Adrift in Squaresville/ Uintimidated by being in the squaresville, which is also the power center of the free world (1960s+ Bop talk)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for squatter

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.

Learn more about squatter with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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