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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 of tatter1
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. 2015.
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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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