American Dictionary of the English Language

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FRIT'TER, noun [Latin frictus, fried.]

1. A small pancake; also, a small piece of meat fried.

2. A fragment; a shred; a small piece.

And cut whole giants into fritters.

FRIT'TER, verb transitive

1. To cut meat into small pieces to be fried.

2. To break into small pieces or fragments.

Break all their nerves, and fritter all their sense.

To fritter away, is to diminish; to pare off; to reduce to nothing by taking away a little at a time.