WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
cot•ter1 /ˈkɑtɚ/USA pronunciation  n. [countable]
  • Mechanical Engineeringa pin or wedge inserted into an opening to secure something.
  • Mechanical EngineeringAlso,ˈcot•ter ˌpin. a pin having a split end that is spread after being pushed through a hole to prevent it from working loose.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    cot•ter1  (kotər), 

  • Mechanical Engineeringa pin, wedge, key, or the like, fitted or driven into an opening to secure something or hold parts together.
  • Mechanical EngineeringSee cotter pin. 

  • v.t. 
  • Mechanical Engineeringto secure with a cotter.
  • Etymology:1300–50;
    Middle English coter;
    akin to late Middle English coterell iron bracket;
    of uncertain origin, originally

    cot•ter2  (kotər), 
    1. Scottish Terms[Scot.]a person occupying a plot of land and cottage, paid for in services.
    2. cottager (def. 2).
    • Anglo-French cot(i)er; see cot2, -er2
    • Middle English cotere 1175–1225

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    cotter /ˈkɒtə/ n
    1. any part, such as a pin, wedge, key, etc, that is used to secure two other parts so that relative motion between them is prevented
    2. short for cotter pin
    Etymology: 14th Century: shortened from cotterel, of unknown origin
    cotter /ˈkɒtə/ n

    1. Also called: cottier a villein in late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman times occupying a cottage and land in return for labour
    2. Also called: cottar a peasant occupying a cottage and land in the Scottish Highlands under the same tenure as an Irish cottier
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Medieval Latin cotārius, from Middle English cote cot²

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