• WordNet 3.6
    • n tatter a small piece of cloth or paper
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Tatter A rag, or a part torn and hanging; -- chiefly used in the plural. "Tear a passion to tatters , to very rags."
    • n Tatter One who makes tatting.
    • v. t Tatter To rend or tear into rags; -- used chiefly in the past participle as an adjective. "Where waved the tattered ensigns of Ragfair."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tatter A rag, or a part torn and hanging: commonly applied to thin and flexible fabrics, as cloth, paper, or leather: chiefly used in the plural.
    • n tatter A ragged fellow; a tatterdemalion.
    • tatter To rend or tear into rags or shreds; wear to tatters.
    • tatter To fall into rags or shreds; become ragged.
    • tatter To chatter; gabble; jabber.
    • tatter To stir actively and laboriously.
    • n tatter One who tats, or makes tatting.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tatter tat′ėr a torn piece: a loose hanging rag
    • v.t., v.i Tatter to tear to tatters: to fall into tatters
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “Oh! it offends me to the soul to hear a robust periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Through tattered clothes, small vices do appear. Robes and furred gowns hide all.”
  • William Butler Yeats
    “An aged man is but a paltry thing, a tattered coat upon a stick”
  • Spanish Proverb
    Spanish Proverb
    “Under a tattered cloak you will generally find a good drinker.”
  • Marian Mountain
    Marian Mountain
    “This tattered life is my only robe; the wind my only refuge.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Icel. tötur, töttur, pl. tötrar, öttrar,; cf. Norw. totra, pl. totror, LG. taltern, tatters. √240


In literature:

The lad had never previously worn anything but a tattered blouse.
"The Fat and the Thin" by Emile Zola
Then the wind caught up the last shreds and tatters of mist, and whipped them away southward.
"The Scouts of Stonewall" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Anne Pierre had known an old woman, by name of Kitty Whelan, whose character was all tatters.
"Romany of the Snows Being A Continuation Of The Personal Histories Of "Pierre And His People" And The Last Existing Records Of Pretty Pierre" by Gilbert Parker
His clothes were in tatters, and his fine face was like that of a warrior defaced by swords.
"The Trail of the Sword, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
Meanwhile the spectators, in their nondescript tattered garments, stood breathlessly watching this wonderful scene.
"The Voyages of Captain Scott" by Charles Turley
Only the vilest rabble show themselves, And wave their tattered caps in mockery at us.
"Wilhelm Tell" by Friedrich Schiller
That is, I was here when Tatters got his death.
"Average Jones" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
The tattered solutions waved in the air.
"The Gold Bat" by P. G. Wodehouse
To what does "tattered ensign" refer?
"Elson Grammar School Literature, Book Four." by William H. Elson
Some were arrayed in tattered dressing-gowns, and had a look of rakish fashion.
"The History of Pendennis" by William Makepeace Thackeray
At my poor philosophy in shreds and tatters?
"The Fighting Chance" by Robert W. Chambers
A soft, sudden wind tore the light and shade into eerie, dancing ribbons and tatters and shreds.
"Snow-Blind" by Katharine Newlin Burt
Beside him a kind of throne had been raised with stones, and over it was spread a tattered and faded velvet pall.
"Harold, Complete The Last Of The Saxon Kings" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Over the door, inside, hung two failed and tattered banners, being those of the Cheshire regiment.
"Passages From the English Notebooks, Volume 1" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
These banners will bang there till they drop away in tatters.
"Passages From the English Notebooks, Volume 2" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Two muscular Mexicans basked in its genial warmth, a tattered serape interposing between them and the ground.
"The Old Santa Fe Trail" by Henry Inman
FERAPONT enters; he wears a tattered old coat with the collar up.
"Plays by Chekhov, Second Series On the High Road, The Proposal, The Wedding, The Bear, A Tragedian In Spite of Himself, The Anniversary, The Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov
The boy gathered up the thin figure, and, stumbling over the tattered rugs, carried her up by a superhuman effort.
"The History of David Grieve" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
In the quaint oilskin hat and her tattered muslin dress she looked bewitchingly pretty.
"The Wings of the Morning" by Louis Tracy
Then our tattered garments could not dry on our bodies, and everything about us was wet and dirty.
"On Commando" by Dietlof Van Warmelo

In poetry:

The tattered cord
can again become knotted.
It holds
but it is torn.
"The Tattered Cord (Der Abgerissen Strick, translation with original German)" by Bertolt Brecht
A tattered cloak may be thy dole
And thine the roof that Jesus had:
The broidered garment of the soul
Shall keep thee purple-clad!
"Heritage" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
Hollyhocks bend all tattered and torn,
Marigolds all are gone;
The last pale rose lies all forlorn,
Like love that is trampled on.
"In Autumn" by Madison Julius Cawein
Blood-stained banners, torn and tattered,
Hanging in the western corner,
Dip their parched and burning edges
In the cooling ocean wave.
"The Phantom Vessel" by Morris Rosenfeld
Course it! course it! Darkness passes
Like an uprolled banner tattered;
Walled before us mountain masses
Rise like centuries unscattered.
"Pre-Ordination" by Madison Julius Cawein
Live ill or well, this thing is mine,
From all I guard it, ill or well.
One tawdry, tattered, faded flower
To show the jealous kings in hell.
"Vanity" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

In news:

Mitt Romney's Tattered Economic Credentials.
Tattered flags retired with honor.
Picking up the tattered threads of one of our squabbles.
Josalyn Poole, guest columnist: Tattered diary is window into my father's World War I experiences.
Some people just can't let go of tattered attire.
Tattered Cover Book Store.
Tattered Cover Film Series.
New York City's Tattered Textbooks.
Tawdry , Tattered Glory.
Obama's Middle East Is in Tatters, Utter Tatters.
Tattered flags to be removed from Aberdeen billboard.
A Reputation Lies in Tatters.
According to Principal Brad Bigelow, the old one had become worn and tattered, so he decided it was time to replace it.
She is worn, tattered, threadbare, and has been flown over all of our battlefields, both foreign and domestic.
Cinderella in tattered clothing looks out her window.