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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

tatter2

[tat-er] /ˈtæt ər/
noun
1.
a person who does tatting, especially as an occupation.
Origin
1880-85; tat + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tatters
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for tatters

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 tatters

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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7
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