a torn piece hanging loose from the main part, as of a garment or flag.
a separate torn piece; shred.
torn or ragged clothing:
dressed in rags and tatters.
verb (used with object)
to tear or wear to
verb (used without object)
to become ragged.
late Middle English
rag, tatter; akin to
rag, shred; (v.) back formation from
a person who does
, especially as an occupation.
to make or become ragged or worn to shreds
) torn or ragged pieces, esp of material
a. torn to pieces; in shreds
b. destroyed or ruined
[C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Icelandic
rag, Old English
Old High German
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Our makeshift campsite was blown to tatters by the backwash of the furious blades.
It is ringed by steel cases with wide, shallow drawers that hold trays containing thousands of blackened tatters.
His reputation is in tatters and his pension presumably is in jeopardy.
They may not have new clothes, but the old ones haven't fallen to tatters yet.
Beyond that point, however, her autobiography was in tatters.
Or, more specifically, it's because of physicists that the financial markets are in tatters all around us.
The smaller ones are often in bad shape, some in tatters, because of attacks by other squid during their helpless ascent.
Now the chandeliers were grimy and the ceilings hanging in tatters.
The paper had come off the bottom of the wall and hung there in tatters.
He wraps his limbs in tatters and rags, and whines he is poor, too poor by far.
In a one-from-the-heart scene, dressed in tatters, he's reduced to begging for pennies.
You're left with a pile of worthless tatters and scraps.
Cycling's image is in tatters, and authorities inside and outside the sport are being tougher than ever on doping.
Most important, though the number of chronically sick in the city has risen sharply, medical services remain in tatters.
After three decades of fighting, the economy is in tatters.
With the reputation of market discipline in tatters, central bankers will get vast new supervisory powers.
The business of extracting fat fees from creating complex debt structures is in tatters.
But with his image as a safe pair of hands in tatters, that may now change.
The rise in the oil price, in other words, may leave nerves not so much frayed as in tatters.
Attaching herself to one could leave her already fraying creditability in tatters.
Yes, he is disgraceful and his reputation is in tatters.
It's also a rare economic success story to emerge from the tatters of communist rule.
The criminal gets leniency and the officer walks away with his credibility in tatters.
Hackberry tatters is an odd collection of symptoms that are puzzling.
At this stage in the trek west, many pioneers were in tatters and going barefoot.