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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for squatterdom

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
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 squatterdom

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for squatterdom

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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