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

  • noun Any of various aquatic or semiaquatic carnivorous mammals of the mustelid subfamily Lutrinae, having webbed feet and dense, dark brown fur.
  • noun The fur of one of these animals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hunt otters with dogs.
  • To fish with a fioat and hooks. See otter-board.
  • To fish with line and flies. See otter, n., 4.
  • noun A corruption of arnotto.
  • noun An aquatic digitigrade carnivorous mammal of the order Feræ, family Mustelidæ and subfamily Lutrinæ.
  • noun The sea-otter. See Enhydris.
  • noun The larva of the ghost-moth, Epialus humuli, which is very destructive to hop-plantations.
  • noun A tackle with line and flies, used for fishing below the surface in lakes and rivers.
  • noun A breed of sheep: same as ancon, 3.
  • noun Same as attar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any carnivorous animal of the genera Lutra, Enhydra, and related genera of the family Mustelidae. Several species are described. They have large, flattish heads, short ears, and webbed toes. They are aquatic, and feed on fish. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) also eats clams, crabs, starfish, abalone, and other marine animals; they may come to the surface, and lying on their backs using the stomach as a table, may be seen cracking open the shell of its prey with a rock. The common otter of Europe is Lutra vulgaris; the North American otter (or American otter) is Lutra Canadensis, which inhabits marshes, streams and rivers; other species inhabit South America and Asia. The North American otter adult is about three to four feet long (including the tail) and weighs from 10 to 30 pounds; the sea otter is commonly four feet long and 45 pounds (female) or 60 pounds (male). Their fur is soft and valuable, and in the nineteenth century they were hunted extensively. The sea otter was hunted to near extinction by 1900, and is now protected. Fewer than 3,000 sea otters are believed to live along the central California coast.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The larva of the ghost moth. It is very injurious to hop vines.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a small breed of hounds, used in England for hunting otters; see otterhound .
  • noun See Ancon sheep, under Ancon.
  • noun (Zoöl.) very large bivalve mollusk (Schizothærus Nuttallii) found on the northwest coast of America. It is excellent food, and is extensively used by the Indians.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See in the Vocabulary.
  • noun A corruption of annotto.

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

  • noun obsolete annatto
  • noun Any aquatic or marine carnivorous mammal, member of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, polecats, badgers, and others.
  • noun gay slang A hairy man with a slender physique, in contrast with a bear, who is more broadly set

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

  • noun the fur of an otter
  • noun freshwater carnivorous mammal having webbed and clawed feet and dark brown fur


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

[Middle English oter, from Old English otor; see wed- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English oter. Cognate with Old High German ottar, Old Slavic ⰲⱏⰺⰴⱃⰰ, and Ancient Greek ὕδρα (hydra, "water snake"). More etymology under English water.



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  • i just wanted to note yesterday's cutest heard sentence —

    "these california sea otters roll themselves in kelp to keep from floating away during their morning nap."

    July 29, 2008

  • I always wondered what was in a California Roll...

    July 29, 2008

  • Ha!

    July 30, 2008