Irregularly torn pieces of cloth, paper, or other material.
- There were photographs stuck to the stone wall, packages with letters, coins, tatters of cloth.
- How many pairs of boots did Carlyon tear to tatters in his researches?
- I twirled the leaf around in my fingers: dry, yellow and brown and brittle, tatters of desiccated material around a skeleton of veins.
- informal Torn in many places; in shreds: wallpaper hung in tattersMore example sentences
- And half of the flowers were in tatters, torn by the frenzy of legs and wings.
- Her sleeves were in tatters, the worn cotton having merely given way to greater force.
- Sporting a brave front, he put on his battle gear: a worn-out helmet, its straps in tatters.
- 1.1Destroyed; ruined: the ceasefire was in tatters within hoursMore example sentences
- It was argued that business would be destroyed and the town's economic future would be in tatters.
- Hence Europe at war's end was in tatters, Britain was virtually bankrupt, Germany destroyed, and Japan on its knees.
- The country was carved up among rival militia, the economy was in ruins and the social fabric in tatters.
Late Middle English (also in the singular meaning 'scrap of cloth'): from Old Norse tǫtrar 'rags'.
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