Definition of litter noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈlɪtə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪtər//
    Groups of animals, Pets
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  1. 1[uncountable] small pieces of rubbish/garbage such as paper, cans and bottles, that people have left lying in a public place There will be fines for people who drop litter.
  2. 2[singular] litter of something a number of things that are lying in an untidy way The floor was covered with a litter of newspapers, clothes and empty cups.
  3. 3[uncountable] a dry substance that is put in a shallow open box for pets, especially cats, to use as a toilet when they are indoors cat litter (British English) a litter tray (North American English) a litter box See related entries: Pets
  4. 4[countable] a number of baby animals that one mother gives birth to at the same time a litter of puppies the runt (= the smallest and weakest baby) of the litter See related entries: Groups of animals, Pets
  5. 5[uncountable] the substance, especially straw, that is used for farm animals to sleep on
  6. 6[countable] a kind of chair or bed that was used in the past for carrying important people
  7. Word OriginMiddle English (originally referring to a structure used to carry people carried on men's shoulders or by animals): from Old French litiere, from medieval Latin lectaria, from Latin lectus ‘bed’. Senses 1 and 2 date from the mid 18th cent.Extra examples Please do not leave litter after your picnic. The local council has pledged to clamp down on litter louts on the beach. ‘Chief’ was born six years ago, one of a litter of 11. Pick up your litter and take it home with you. There will be fines for people who drop litter. a litter of puppies/​kittens the runt of the litter
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: litter