a piece of fruit, vegetable, or meat that is coated in batter and deep-fried.
New Oxford American Dictionary 2nd edition © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
That's an official definition of a fritter. I have asked a few folks from different parts of the US and it seems there is a wide variety of presentations of this thing called a "fritter".
In my house, a fritter is a way to bring new life to leftovers. I've only used vegetables in my fritters but, theoretically, anything could be used with varying levels of success.
Fried in butter and served hot from the pan, they are a great meal for us any time.