litter


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lit·ter

(lit'ĕr),
1. A stretcher or portable couch for moving the sick or injured.
2. A group of animals of the same parents, born at the same time. Synonym(s): brood (1)
[Fr. litière; fr. lit, bed]

litter

/lit·ter/ (lit´er) stretcher.

litter

(lĭt′ər)
n.
1. The group of offspring produced at one birth by a mammal.
2. A flat supporting framework, such as a piece of canvas stretched between parallel shafts, for carrying a disabled or dead person; a stretcher.
v. lit·tered, lit·tering, lit·ters
v.tr.
1. To give birth to (a litter).
2. To make untidy by discarding rubbish carelessly: Someone had littered the beach with food wrappers.
3. To scatter about: littered towels all over the locker room.
4. To be scattered about (an area): "A lot of torn envelopes and open letters littered his bed" (Joseph Conrad).
5. To include certain items such as expressions throughout (a speech or piece of writing, for example): littered his letters with the names of powerful friends.
6. Archaic To supply (animals) with litter for bedding or floor covering.
v.intr.
1. To give birth to a litter.
2. To scatter litter.

lit′ter·er n.

litter

Etymology: Fr, lit, bed
a stretcher.

litter

Military medicine A mobile bed for transporting wounded military personnel Vox populi Trash strewn in a public or open place

lit·ter

(lit'ĕr)
1. A stretcher or portable couch for moving the sick or injured.
2. A group of animals of the same parents, born at the same time.
[Fr. litière; fr. lit, bed]

litter

  1. any material aggregated on the surface of soil from above-ground vegetation.
  2. the offspring produced at any one time by a mammal.

litter

1. the group of neonates, products of one gestation, provided the average number is in excess of two.
2. dry particulate material used for bedding or as absorptive layer under animals or periodically by the animal to absorb urine and dry out feces. Dry litter system for poultry and litter for cats to use for urination and defecation while indoors.

litter size
the number of young in a litter is an important statistic in pigs because of the need to maximize the output of piglets per sow per year.
litter tray
the container, usually broad with low sides, that holds some absorbent material; used by indoor cats for urination and defecation.
References in classic literature ?
The mourners, too, enveloped and swathed in their skirts and gowns, were unable to bestir themselves, and so with entire safety to himself Don Quixote belaboured them all and drove them off against their will, for they all thought it was no man but a devil from hell come to carry away the dead body they had in the litter.
The fool should have known that we desired her alive," grumbled Malbihn, grasping a corner of the cloth and jerking the cover from the thing that lay upon the litter.
Half an hour later, as the creaking litter jolted up the hill path that leads south-easterly from Shamlegh, Kim saw a tiny figure at the hut door waving a white rag.
The formidable Quasimodo had hurled himself from the litter, and the women turned aside their eyes in order not to see him tear the archdeacon asunder.
So these also came to the church, and there Sir Stephen leaped from his horse and, coming to the litter, handed fair Ellen out therefrom.
The handles of the litter were supported by four men, who were from time to time relieved by fresh relays, -- even as the bearers of Mother Cybele used to take turn and turn about at Rome in the ancient days, when she was brought from Etruria to the Eternal City, amid the blare of trumpets and the worship of a whole nation.
And all went well, and would have continued to go well, had not Lamai's mother, Lenerengo, just awakened, stepped across her black litter of progeny and raised her voice in shrill protest against her eldest born's introducing of one more mouth and much more nuisance into the household.
The she-wolf, too, left her litter and went out in search of meat.
A set of steps stood at one side of the room, in the midst of a litter of lath and plaster, and above them there was an opening in the ceiling large enough for a man to pass through.
Advancing over the litter of gods and bones, Balatta whimpering at his heels, Bassett entered the shadow of the Red One and passed on under its gigantic overhang until he touched it with his finger- tips.
If one doth draw a little drink the more for them, one is hardly made amends for the litter they make; and then to have one's house made a bawdy-house of by such lousy vermin.
The litter stopped under a lamp before it had passed him half-a-dozen paces, for some readjustment of the burden; and, the crowd stopping too, he found himself in the midst of the array.