litter


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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) 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

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

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

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

pick of the litter, the

The best of the lot. Versions of this term have been around in various forms for a long time—from the pick of the market and pick of the parish to the pick of the basket (all nineteenth century) and pick of the bunch (twentieth century). The cliché alludes to selecting the most desirable from a litter of puppies.
See also: of, pick
References in periodicals archive ?
Once finished, the team had collected six bags of litter, which included everything from cans to clothing that had been dumped.
We found lots of crisp packets that we could recycle at school and were happy that we all managed to pick up a big bag of litter each, which means there will be less litter and pollution next to our school.
"My message to those people is this: keep your litter in your car, and dispose of it in a proper bin.
mi - constant effect i - of its number of gilt litter number (i = I, II, III),
Jonathan, with the help of his parents, created a flyer about the litter in the neighborhood.
Make sure the cat is given a full check-up by a veterinarian and that the owner mentions they are having litter box problems.
New analysis by the charity has detailed an increase in animals affected by plastic litter - including by becoming entangled in nets, trapped in plastic bags or bottles, or infected through litter-inflicted wounds.
New analysis by the charity has detailed an increase in animals affected by plastic litter - becoming entangled in nets, trapped in plastic bags or bottles, or infected through wounds.
Council leader Jim Logue said:"We think North Lanarkshire is a great place to live, work and visit and we don't want to see litter making a mess of our streets.
The council's ongoing litter and flytipping campaign encourages responsible residents to "do the right thing" and put litter in a bin or take it home.
He said the state of litter and waste forced them to leave sub-council business and travel about 110 km from Ghanzi Township to conduct litter picking at Chobokwane.
ISLAMABAD -- The youth against littering, a new initiative of the Islamabad Devcom Centennial Leo Club (IDCLC), launched its 'Community Litter Pick Campaign' with the clean-up of the Margalla Hills Trail-5.
ISLAMABAD -- Civil society activists, students and people from different walks of life on Saturday participated in a 'community litter pick campaign' to clean up the Margalla Hills Trail-5.
COUNCILLOR Stuart Gerrard ('Doubts over car litter plan,' Viewpoints, August 3) tells us that there are loopholes in the plan, and that evidence will be needed otherwise it will be the word of the enforcement officer against that of the driver.