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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
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; (noun) late Middle English < Old Norse tǫturr rag, tatter; akin to Old English tætteca rag, shred; (v.) back formation from tattered
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tattering

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
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Word Origin and History for tattering
tatter
mid-14c., "clad in slashed garments"), from O.N. toturr "rag," cognate with O.E. tættec, tætteca "rag, tatter," Low Ger. tater "tatter." The noun is attested from c.1400
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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