Trash that is not properly disposed of. The garbage that sits around all over the place, the newspaper blowing along the highway, the cans floating in the lake, the discard all around us. A by-product of a consumer culture.

Also means something that is scattered around in decent amounts. If trees litter the landscape, there are plenty around, and not concentrated, but dispersed.

Through the '80s and early '90s, while Reagan and Bush emphasized awareness of recycling and garbage removal to the videogame generation in the school system at the time in an attempt to save the planet (generally using made-for-tv-movies or specials starring Alan Thicke), litter's slang connotation became more widely known and used.

The word litter, amplified in this time of our society's percieved separation from the rest of the world, has come to be recognized as anything that is out of place or of lower class in regards to the surrounding environment. The subjective orderliness or organization of a subject may also be in question. Things are also classified as litter when they are found offensive or obscene.

(A note to noders: An e2 node that is considered litter will be hastily deleted by the gods.)

Consider the following examples:

A humble wooden shack in the middle of the forest wouldn't be classified as litter until it had fallen.

A person can feel like litter when they are juxtaposed against people who seem more cultured, are wearing nicer clothes, or are just more snobby.

Imagine pieces of paper strewn about in a field, or blowing through the street vs. pieces of paper set in a bookbinding.

An office desk is not litter in an office, but would be considered such in the center of a cornfield (save artistic statement).

Question, then, the stretch of concrete crossing the plains of the Midwest known as the Interstate.

Lit"ter (?), n. [F. litiere, LL. lectaria, fr. L. lectus couch, bed. See Lie to be prostrated, and cf. Coverlet.]

1.

A bed or stretcher so arranged that a person, esp. a sick or wounded person, may be easily carried in or upon it.

There is a litter ready; lay him in 't. Shak.

2.

Straw, hay, etc., scattered on a floor, as bedding for animals to rest on; also, a covering of straw for plants.

To crouch in litter of your stable planks. Shak.

Take off the litter from your kernel beds. Evelyn.

3.

Things lying scattered about in a manner indicating slovenliness; scattered rubbish.

Strephon, who found the room was void. Stole in, and took a strict survey Of all the litter as it lay. Swift.

4.

Disorder or untidiness resulting from scattered rubbish, or from thongs lying about uncared for; as, a room in a state of litter.

5.

The young brought forth at one time, by a sow or other multiparous animal, taken collectively. Also Fig.

A wolf came to a sow, and very kindly offered to take care of her litter. D. Estrange.

Reflect upon numerous litter of strange, senseless opinions that crawl about the world. South.

 

© Webster 1913.


Lit"ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Littered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Littering.]

1.

To supply with litter, as cattle; to cover with litter, as the floor of a stall.

Tell them how they litter their jades. Bp. Hacke.

For his ease, well littered was the floor. Dryden.

2.

To put into a confused or disordered condition; to strew with scattered articles; as, to litter a room.

The room with volumes littered round. Swift.

3.

To give birth to; to bear; -- said of brutes, esp. those which produce more than one at a birth, and also of human beings, in abhorrence or contempt.

We might conceive that dogs were created blind, because we observe they were littered so with us. Sir T. Browne.

The son that she did litter here, A freckled whelp hagborn. Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.


Lit"ter (?), v. i.

1.

To be supplied with litter as bedding; to sleep or make one's bed in litter.

[R.]

The inn Where he and his horse littered. Habington.

2.

To produce a litter.

A desert . . . where the she-wolf still littered. Macaulay.

 

© Webster 1913.

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