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

[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.]


(Historical Terms) Scot (in the Scottish Highlands) a peasant occupying a cottage and land of not more than half an acre at a rent of not more than five pounds a year
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cottar - a peasant farmer in the Scottish Highlands
bucolic, peasant, provincial - a country person
2.cottar - fastener consisting of a wedge or pin inserted through a slot to hold two other pieces together
cotter pin - a cotter consisting of a split pin that is secured (after passing through a hole) by splitting the ends apart
fastening, holdfast, fastener, fixing - restraint that attaches to something or holds something in place
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the most significant reports ever prepared about the wild lands of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland was compiled by Lord Napier's Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Condition of Crofters and Cottars in the later years of the 19th century.
Northfield had seven villeins, 16 bordars, six cottars or cottagers, two serfs (probably male slaves), and one female bondswoman (slave) - and their families.
In recent times many artists steeped in the region's Celtic-Canadian heritage have become international stars in the folk and country music industries, including fiddlers Natalie MacMaster (1973-) and Ashley MacIsaac (1975-), vocalist Mary Jane Lamond (1960-), and ensembles the Cottars and the Rankins.
Labor in the countryside was supplied by four groups of people--(1) the tenant who owed labor services to the master of the ground; (2) the cottars who were settled on the fermions, each with a cothouse and yard; (3) the unmarried laborers, of then the relatives of tenants and cottars; and (4) a group of skilled workers such as ploughmen, barnmen or threshers, shepherds, sawyers, and limeburners; and some of these needed alternative work out of season.
MUSIC: Young Cape Breton singers The Cottars take to the Southport Arts Centre stage on Friday.
Indeed, four-fifths of the recorded heads of household in 1086 are dependent labourers of some sort, ranging from the villein class--over a third of the entire population--through bordars, cottars, burs and slaves or serfs (servi), the last class amounting to nearly a tenth of the recorded population.
For land-hungry crofters and cottars these estates became potent symbols of land deliberately left underdeveloped and kept out of circulation.