Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A medieval villein who occupied a cottage with a small piece of land in return for labor.
  • noun In Scotland and Ireland, a farm worker who, in return for a cottage, gives labor at a fixed rate when required.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A Scotch spelling of cotter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Scotland Alternative form of cotter (peasant inhabiting a cottage)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun fastener consisting of a wedge or pin inserted through a slot to hold two other pieces together
  • noun a peasant farmer in the Scottish Highlands

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English coter, from Old French coter, cotier; akin to Medieval Latin cotārius : Medieval Latin cota, cottage (of Germanic origin and akin to Old English cot, cottage) + Latin -ārius, adj. and n. suff.]

Examples

  • They were, indeed, like other cottars, a kind of feudal dependents, occupying an acre or two of the land, in return for which they performed certain stipulated labour, called cottar-wark.

    Robert Falconer

  • He was what is called a cottar in Scotland, which name implies that of the large farm upon which he worked for yearly wages he had a little bit of land to cultivate for his own use.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood

  • He was forced to turn off in order to find a house at which to ask guidance, and the cottar who came out to greet him eyed him with sharp attention when he asked for La Musarderie.

    A River So Long

  • Here, had a cottar encountered me under such circumstances, I would doubtless have been thought a witch or a fairy.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • "I'm a man of my hands," said the cottar confidently.

    A River So Long

  • The little party of four stood in its dappled shade by the fallen ruins of a mossy old hut, left long ago by some forgotten cottar.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • "I'm a man of my hands," said the cottar confidently.

    Brother Cadfael's Penance

  • He was forced to turn off in order to find a house at which to ask guidance, and the cottar who came out to greet him eyed him with sharp attention when he asked for La Musarderie.

    Brother Cadfael's Penance

  • This wasn't a cottar or a herder that stood before him.

    Dragonfly in Amber

  • Hugh knew every cottar and tinker, every farmhouse and manor within four parishes.

    Dragonfly in Amber

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