[ smat-er ]
/ ˈsmæt ər /
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See synonyms for: smatter / smattered / smattering / smatters on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)

to speak (a language, words, etc.) with superficial knowledge or understanding.
to dabble in.


a slight or superficial knowledge; smattering: She gets by with only a smatter of musical knowledge.
a small amount or number; smattering: a smatter of applause; smatters of nervous laughter.



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Origin of smatter

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English; further origin uncertain; perhaps from Scandinavian; Danish, Norwegian smadre “to splash, smash (to pieces),” Swedish smattra “to clatter, rattle” (Middle Low German smetern “to chatter”), but the semantic development is unclear

Words nearby smatter

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for smatter

/ (ˈsmætə) /


a smattering


(intr) rare to prattle
(tr) archaic to dabble in

Derived forms of smatter

smatterer, noun

Word Origin for smatter

C14 (in the sense: to prattle): of uncertain origin; compare Middle High German smetern to gossip
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
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