- to climb or move quickly using one's hands and feet, as down a rough incline.
- to compete or struggle with others for possession or gain: The children scrambled for the coins we tossed.
- to move hastily and with urgency: She scrambled into her coat and ran out the door.
- Military. (of pilots or aircraft) to take off as quickly as possible to intercept enemy planes.
- to collect or organize (things) in a hurried or disorderly manner (often followed by together or up): He scrambled the papers up from the desk. I scrambled the report together at the last minute.
- to mix together confusedly: The teacher has hopelessly scrambled our names and faces.
- to cause to move hastily, as if in panic: He scrambled everyone out of the burning building.
- to cook (eggs) in a pan while stirring, usually after mixing whites and yolks together.
- to make (a radio or telephonic message) incomprehensible to interceptors by systematically changing the transmission frequencies.
- to mix the elements of (a television signal) so that only subscribers with a decoding box can receive the signal.
- Military. to cause (an intercepting aircraft or pilot) to take off in the shortest possible time, in response to an alert.
- a quick climb or progression over rough, irregular ground.
- a struggle for possession or gain: a scramble for choice seats in the stadium.
- any disorderly or hasty struggle or proceeding.
- Military. an emergency takeoff of interceptors performed in the shortest possible time.
Origin of scramble
Examples from the Web for scramble
When Carter lost reelection in 1980, Rubenstein had to scramble.Patriotic Philanthropy: Not an Oxymoron
November 27, 2014
In the meantime, the scramble is on and, in Republican presidential politics, anything can happen.The Social Conservative Royal Rumble Is Brewing in Iowa
October 17, 2014
Colleges churn out graduates and confer advanced degrees, but the scramble for jobs continues.How Young People Are Destroying Liberty
October 11, 2014
Perhaps worst of all, this scramble for spoils raises the value of gains even as it lowers the bar for action.Is Democracy Doomed Abroad?
August 31, 2014
In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and cook in a pan to scramble, remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese.Epic Meal Empire’s Meat Monstrosities: From the Bacon Spider to the Cinnabattleship
July 26, 2014
There was a scramble on the instant for muskets, bags, and belongings.In the Valley
The remainder of the ceremony was lost amid the hurry and scramble of the departure.
Without answering, the other Sister at once plunged into the midst of the scramble.
Somebody said you just had a scramble with old Dmitri himself.Dogfight--1973
Dallas McCord Reynolds
Silver, even, would be treated with contempt, and there would be a scramble for gold.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
- (intr) to climb or crawl, esp by using the hands to aid movement
- (intr) to proceed hurriedly or in a disorderly fashion
- (intr often foll by for) to compete with others, esp in a disordered mannerto scramble for a prize
- (intr foll by through) to deal with hurriedly and unsystematically
- (tr) to throw together in a haphazard manner; jumble
- (tr) to collect in a hurried or disorganized manner
- (tr) to cook (eggs that have been whisked up with milk and seasoning) in a pan containing a little melted butter
- military to order (a crew or aircraft) to take off immediately or (of a crew or aircraft) to take off immediately
- (tr) to render (speech) unintelligible during transmission by means of an electronic scrambler
- the act of scrambling
- a climb over rocks that involves the use of the hands but not ropes, etc
- a disorderly struggle, esp to gain possession
- military an immediate preparation for action, as of crew, aircraft, etc
- British a motorcycle rally in which competitors race across rough open ground
Word Origin and History for scramble
1580s (intransitive), perhaps a nasalized variant of scrabble (v.), in its sense of "to struggle, to scrape quickly." Transitive sense "to stir or toss together randomly" is from 1822. Broadcasting sense "to make unintelligible" is attested from 1927. Related: Scrambled; scrambling. Scrambled eggs first recorded 1843.
1670s, "an eager, rude contest or struggle," from scramble (v.). Meaning "a walk or ramble involving clambering and struggling with obstacles" is from 1755. Meaning "rapid take-off" first recorded 1940, R.A.F. slang.