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tattered

[tat-erd] /ˈtæt ərd/
adjective
1.
torn to tatters; ragged:
a tattered flag.
2.
wearing ragged clothing:
a tattered old man.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; see tatter1 (noun), -ed3
Related forms
untattered, adjective

tatter1

[tat-er] /ˈtæt ər/
noun
1.
a torn piece hanging loose from the main part, as of a garment or flag.
2.
a separate torn piece; shred.
3.
tatters, torn or ragged clothing:
dressed in rags and tatters.
verb (used with object)
4.
to tear or wear to tatters.
verb (used without object)
5.
to become ragged.
Origin
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tattered
  • As the dumpster was slowly emptied, conservators found tattered clothing mixed in with rebar and concrete.
  • Its splendor had disappeared, too, its image tattered.
  • The picture shows the tattered but triumphant safe after the would-be-thieves gave up and walked away.
  • He is wearing tire-tread sandals and tattered brown shorts.
  • The danger is attributed to design flaws, tattered economies, political disorder and weak regulatory oversight.
  • Upstairs, a lone chinchilla coat hangs on a tattered dress form, its back scorched through to the lining.
  • After dark the bed bugs would emerge from his recliner and tattered box-spring mattress to feed on his blood.
  • After bloom is over, thin and neaten plants by cutting older, tattered stems to the ground.
  • Computers cluttered the entrance way, and rows of tattered books crowded the walls from floor to ceiling.
  • These were used packaging, plucked chicken feathers, tattered cotton and spent toothpaste tubes.
British Dictionary definitions for tattered

tattered

/ˈtætəd/
adjective
1.
ragged or worn: a tattered old book
2.
wearing ragged or torn clothing: tattered refugees
3.
damaged, defeated, or in disarray: he believes he can bring the tattered party together

tatter

/ˈtætə/
verb
1.
to make or become ragged or worn to shreds
noun
2.
(pl) torn or ragged pieces, esp of material
3.
in tatters
  1. torn to pieces; in shreds
  2. destroyed or ruined
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for tattered

tatter

v.

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
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