or scat·ter·brains

[ skat-er-breyn ]
/ ˈskæt ərˌbreɪn /


a person incapable of serious, connected thought.

Origin of scatterbrain

First recorded in 1780–90; scatter + brain
Related formsscat·ter·brained, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scatterbrain

  • Scatterbrain's agent said 't was unfair, and desired the polling-clerk not to record the vote.

  • Scatterbrain demanded of Dick another shot on the part of O'Grady.

  • O'Grady waved his hand in signal to his body-guard, and Scatterbrain had three cheers from the ragamuffins.

  • Here are letters for you—I want to know what's in them—Scatterbrain's come—do you know that?

British Dictionary definitions for scatterbrain


/ (ˈskætəˌbreɪn) /


a person who is incapable of serious thought or concentration
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 scatterbrain



also scatter-brain, "thoughtless, giddy person, one incapable of serious, connected thought," 1764 (scatter-brained), from scatter (v.) + brain (n.). Related: Scatterbrained. Cf. scatter-good "spendthrift."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper