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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Yes, a special anti-littering squad is a good idea but as far as I know, there are fines on littering in place already.
Our experiment has two treatments: in the Baseline treatment, the participants do not bear the private cost for littering whereas in the second treatment (which we term as the 'Cost treatment'), each participant bears the private cost for littering.
Between April and July this year, more than 290 fixed penalty notices for littering were issued.
Councillor Wilson, pictured, who proposed the motion at the meeting along with Tory colleagues, said: "Since I was elected last year one of the most frequent issues constituents have brought to my attention is the excessive littering that is frequently present at Dalzell Drive in Motherwell and it is not a pretty sight.
"Everyone can help prevent some of the most common plastic items littering our beaches and seas by reducing their use.
Dave Fern, Tamworth Council's community safety manager, said: "We felt that it is important to cover all of the high schools in Tamworth, to make sure that every young person is educated about the importance of littering and the effect it can have.
Today environmental campaigners warned no-one was exempt from littering laws.
So, having ascertained that for the past three years the Government has not cared, and having swept the Bill under the carpet with the rest of their rubbish, what rights under the Bill have we as victims of littering, and what measures can we take?
Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police will be carrying out joint litter enforcement exercises and will fine people found littering in the city centre.
"This kind of littering can easily be prevented by beach users taking home their rubbish or disposing of it in a nearby bin.
The research also reveals that the punishment for littering is thought to be far more severe than reality.
Georgina Massouraki, roadside litter campaign officer at KSB, said: "This initiative comes amidst our national Week of Action, which has seen hundreds of schools, communities, businesses and other partners take action to send the message that littering in Scotland is not acceptable.