litter


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runt of the litter

The smallest and weakest person in a group, especially a group of siblings. (A "litter" is a group of newborn mammals, the smallest of which is least likely to thrive or survive.) Even though I'm the middle child, I've always been the runt of the litter in our family—even my younger sister picks on me because she's taller than I am.
See also: litter, of, runt

pick of the litter

The best or most ideal option in a group. (A "litter" is a group of newborn mammals, especially puppies or kittens.) Matt is the pick of the litter, so we need to make sure he ends up on our team. I know you think that puppy is too small, but to me he's just the pick of the litter!
See also: litter, of, pick

litter (something) around

To throw things on the ground in an untidy manner. My roommate is always littering his clothes around the house. It drives me crazy! You really shouldn't litter your trash around like that.
See also: around, litter

litter (something or some place) up

To make something or some place very messy or untidy. I hate the way he litters up his desk with papers and dirty plates—it just looks really unprofessional. The room wasn't clean for more than an hour before the kids had littered it up with toys and bits of food.
See also: litter, up

litter (something) about

To throw things on the ground in an untidy manner. My roommate is always littering his clothes about the house. It drives me crazy! You really shouldn't litter your trash about like that.
See also: litter

litter something about

 and litter something around
to cast around something, such as trash, clothing, personal possessions, etc. Don't litter all that stuff about. I wish you wouldn't litter your trash around.
See also: litter

litter something up

to mess something up with litter, trash, possessions, etc. Who littered this room up? Who littered up this room?
See also: litter, up

runt of the litter

 
1. Lit. the smallest animal born in a litter; the animal in a litter least likely to survive. No one wanted to buy the runt of the litter, so we kept it.
2. and the runt of the family Fig. the smallest child in the family. I was the runt of the litter and the butt of all the jokes.
See also: litter, of, runt

pick of the litter

The best of a group, as in He was first in the ticket line so he had the pick of the litter. This term, alluding to the most desirable one from a litter of puppies or kittens, supplanted such earlier variants as pick of the market, pick of the parish, and pick of the basket. [Early 1900s]
See also: litter, of, pick
References in periodicals archive ?
The Executive plan an anti-social behaviour bill which will allow police to hand out onthe-spot fines to litter louts.
An unusual study reports that the goblin fern (Botrychium mormo), an elusive species that pokes up from thick leaf litter on a forest floor, has disappeared from 9 out of 28 patches surveyed in Minnesota's Chippewa National Forest.
THIS level of litter is described in the brochure as "Predominantly free of litter apart from some small items"
Decomposition of plant litter regulates recycling of nutrients in ecosystems, influences net ecosystem carbon storage, and is the first step in the formation of soil humus.
We recommend you make any changes to your cat's current litter gradually and monitor carefully.
06 per litter on 1st, May 2013 while its price was Rs.
Natural cat litter is a new trend in the pet industry.
In a bid to stop this anti-social behaviour, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson - himself a Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) litter reporter - is keen to see others sign up and watch out for people who throw litter from cars, trailers or boats.
COVENTRY is one of the UK's litter hotspots, according to new figures.
The effects of food-related environmental complexity on litter directed behaviour, fear and exploration of novel stimuli in young broiler chickens.
ARM & HAMMER CAT LITTER PRODUCT: Church & Dwight Co.
LITTER louts could face fines of up to PS150 for dropping rubbish, under plans unveiled by the Government.
World's Best Cat Litter is giving cat lovers the power to donate thousands of pounds of litter for free with just one click in its latest round of GiveLitter.
An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agronomist in Mississippi has found a way to help cotton growers in the Southeast maximize profits when they use poultry litter as fertilizer.
On that walk they were unable to ignore the amount of litter they saw on the beach - so they raised some money, used that money to buy some litter pickers and bag hoops and started to organise regular Saturday litter picks.