v. squat·ted, squat·ting, squats
1. To sit in a crouching position with knees bent and the buttocks on or near the heels.
2. To crouch down, as an animal does.
3. To settle on unoccupied land without legal claim.
4. To occupy a given piece of public land in order to acquire title to it.
1. To put (oneself) into a crouching posture.
2. To occupy as a squatter.
3. Sports To lift (an amount of weight) when doing a squat.
adj. squat·ter, squat·test
1. Short and thick; low and broad.
2. Crouched in a squatting position.
1. The act of squatting.
2. A squatting or crouching posture.
3. Sports A lift or a weightlifting exercise in which one squats and stands while holding a weighted barbell supported by the back of the shoulders.
4. Chiefly British The place occupied by a squatter.
5. The lair of an animal such as a hare.
6. Slang A small or worthless amount; diddly-squat.
[Middle English squatten, from Old French esquatir, to crush : es-, intensive pref. (from Latin ex-; see EX-) + quatir, to press flat (from Vulgar Latin *coāctīre, from Latin coāctus, past participle of cōgere, to compress : co-, co- + agere, to drive; see ag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.