WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2014
cot•ter1 /ˈkɑtɚ/USA pronunciation n. [countable]
  • a pin or wedge inserted into an opening to secure something.
  • Also,ˈcot•ter ˌpin. a pin having a split end that is spread after being pushed through a hole to prevent it from working loose.


  • 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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