Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR LITTER

The horses were without stalls or litter, in a dark, ill-paved barn.

There was such a litter as always gathers around a literary man.

I flushed to see her regard the litter about me with calm deliberateness.

The hallways were strewn with straw and the litter of packing.

The boys took turns with Trapper Jim in carrying the litter.

With two exceptions, these cats have never had more than two kittens at a litter.

The she-wolf, too, left her litter and went out in search of meat.

No more had he thought so, than the litter came along, and he seated himself in it.

In every litter sat a veiled woman, and the princess was in their midst.

Then the little snake crawled into the litter, and the captain followed after.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, "a bed," also "bed-like vehicle carried on men's shoulders" (early 14c.), from Anglo-French litere "portable bed," Old French litiere "litter, stretcher, bier; straw, bedding," from Medieval Latin lectaria "litter" (altered in French by influence of lit "bed"), from Latin lectus "bed, couch," from PIE *legh-to-, from root *legh- "to lie" (see lie (v.2)).

Meaning extended early 15c. to "straw used for bedding" (early 14c. in Anglo-French) and late 15c. to "offspring of an animal at one birth" (in one bed); sense of "scattered oddments, disorderly debris" is first attested 1730, probably from Middle English verb literen "provide with bedding" (late 14c.), with notion of strewing straw. Litter by 19c. had come to mean both the straw bedding and the animal waste in it after use.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR LITTER

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.