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verb (used with object)
  1. to speak (a language, words, etc.) with superficial knowledge or understanding.
  2. to dabble in.
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  1. slight or superficial knowledge; smattering.
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Origin of smatter

1300–50; Middle English; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Danish, Norwegian smadre to splash, swash, Swedish smattra to clatter, rattle; compare Middle Low German smetern to chatter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for smattered

smash, dash, splinter, wreck, ruin, explode, exhaust, demolish, crush, impair, disable, split, fracture, crack, snap, destroy, blast, burst, rive, crunch

British Dictionary definitions for smattered


  1. a smattering
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  1. (intr) rare to prattle
  2. (tr) archaic to dabble in
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Derived Formssmatterer, 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

Word Origin and History for smattered



early 15c., "talk idly, chatter; talk ignorantly or superficially," of uncertain origin, perhaps imitative. Similar forms are found in Middle High German smetern "to chatter" and Swedish smattra "to patter, rattle," and cf. Danish snaddre "chatter, jabber," Dutch snateren, German schnattern "cackle, chatter, prattle." Related: Smattered; smattering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper