verb (used with object)

to fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner: All kinds of papers cluttered the top of his desk.

verb (used without object)


Origin of clutter

1550–60; variant of clotter (now obsolete), equivalent to clot + -er6
Related formso·ver·clut·ter, verb (used with object)un·clut·ter, verb (used with object)un·clut·tered, adjective

Synonyms for clutter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cluttered

messy, crowded, scattered, strewn, untidy

Examples from the Web for cluttered

Contemporary Examples of cluttered

Historical Examples of cluttered

  • Huge as it was, it was cluttered with curious shaped machines and instruments.

  • A thousand falsehoods are cluttered around the truth to conceal it from us.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • The voice came half-smothered from the cluttered bin of equipment.

  • Figures in clay, some broken and cracked, cluttered up its floor and walls.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • There were the cluttered streets of several cities and villages.

    Journeys to Bagdad

    Charles S. Brooks

British Dictionary definitions for cluttered



(usually tr often foll by up) to strew or amass (objects) in a disorderly manner
(intr) to move about in a bustling manner
(intr) to chatter or babble


a disordered heap or mass of objects
a state of disorder
unwanted echoes that confuse the observation of signals on a radar screen

Word Origin for clutter

C15 clotter, from clotteren to clot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cluttered



1550s, "to collect in heaps," variant of clotern "to form clots, to heap on" (c.1400); related to clot (n.). Sense of "to litter" is first recorded 1660s. Related: Cluttered; cluttering.



1570s, "things lying in heaps or confusion," from clutter (v.); the "litter" sense is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper