clutter

verb
clut·​ter | \ ˈklə-tər \
cluttered; cluttering; clutters

Definition of clutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

chiefly dialectal : to run in disorder

transitive verb

: to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness a room cluttered with toys often used with up Too many signs were cluttering up the street corner.

clutter

noun

Definition of clutter (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a crowded or confused mass or collection a clutter of motels and restaurants
b : things that clutter a place tried to minimize the unnecessary clutter in her house
2 : interfering radar echoes caused by reflection from objects (as on the ground) other than the target
3 chiefly dialectal : disturbance, hubbub

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of clutter in a Sentence

Verb

The garage was cluttered with tools. Try to avoid cluttering your desk with books and papers.

Noun

There's a lot of unnecessary clutter in the house. a scrapbook that was a clutter of snapshots, diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Minimalism is often considered cold and stark to critics, but Scandinavian design creates warmth through textiles, rather than cluttering things with a lot of decorative items. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Scandinavian Design," 18 Sep. 2018 Demolition equipment will clutter the waterfront, changing locations every 30 days or so. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s big demolition spectacle: How crews plan to pulverize the Alaskan Way Viaduct," 5 Dec. 2018 Image Family cycles of grief and trauma are this book’s dominant theme; Stone’s exploration is Hieronymus Bosch-like: blithely cluttered, compellingly repellent. Daisy Fried, New York Times, "Sex, Death, Suffering and Surrealism, in New Books of Poetry," 6 July 2018 In the decades since, rampant construction of yoga and meditation ashrams, guesthouses and hotels, cafes and shops, and headquarters for rafting and trekking companies has cluttered the hills. Patrick Scott, WSJ, "Rafting the Ganges River: An Adrenaline Rush With Divine Rewards," 3 Apr. 2018 Without docks, scooters are cluttering sidewalks and blocking wheelchair ramps. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 Many of the rooms were cluttered with dolls, which Huguette voraciously collected. Meryl Gordon, Town & Country, "The Curious Life and Shocking Death of Huguette Clark," 21 May 2014 The way the designer and her team keep it from looking cluttered? Sarah Bray, ELLE Decor, "How To Organize Your Desk Like Carolina Herrera," 6 Jan. 2014 Goalies like Holtby, on the other hand, can’t afford to clutter their mind between periods; Murray comes to the dressing room during intermission, but avoids such analysis until later. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Learning to Deal With the Little Things Has Capitals' Braden Holtby on the Verge of a Stanley Cup," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If kitchen drawers are over-stuffed and liable to jam in the middle of the cooking frenzy, now's the time to take out some of the clutter. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things to Do Around the House Before the Holidays," 16 Nov. 2018 Every parent has had to deal with the issue of kid clutter. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Holiday clutter: A plan for clearing out your house before the gifts arrive," 11 Dec. 2017 Dusting and vacuuming your place regularly (ideally at least once a week) can definitely help, as can removing any clutter that collects dust, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) says. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Ways to Keep Winter From Making Your Dry Eyes Worse," 11 Dec. 2018 The company’s co-CEO and co-founder Dawoon Kang tells The Verge that the company is trying to clean up clutter and focus on users. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Coffee Meets Bagel redesigns its app and introduces profile commenting," 11 Dec. 2018 Ellis and Lee wanted a central space where the kitchen and open dining areas were a focal point, but there was also an emphasis on keeping clutter to a minimum. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "Embracing nature—and minimalism—in North Carolina," 26 Nov. 2018 Come January, Christmas cards usually go straight from the mantel to the trash, but not all season's greetings count as clutter. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Your Old Christmas Cards Might Be Worth Serious Money," 16 Nov. 2018 There's no quick way to work through the sea of acronyms, the IUIs, and the SETs and the PGDs, that clutter your existence. Elissa Strauss, Glamour, "This Netflix Movie Perfectly Pinpoints What's So Maddening About IVF," 11 Oct. 2018 Here’s Kondo’s advice for chat readers on four obstacles that keep some of us buried in clutter. Jura Koncius, The Seattle Times, "Marie Kondo on the four obstacles to decluttering," 8 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clutter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of clutter

Verb

1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for clutter

Verb and Noun

Middle English clotteren to clot, from clot

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clutter

Dictionary Entries near clutter

clutchman

Clutha

cluther

clutter

clutterer

cly

Clyde

Statistics for clutter

Last Updated

28 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clutter

The first known use of clutter was in 1556

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clutter

clutter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of clutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fill or cover (something) with many things : to fill or cover (something) with clutter

clutter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of clutter (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large amount of things that are not arranged in a neat or orderly way : a crowded or disordered collection of things

clutter

verb
clut·​ter | \ ˈklə-tər \
cluttered; cluttering

Kids Definition of clutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fill or cover with scattered things

clutter

noun

Kids Definition of clutter (Entry 2 of 2)

: a collection of scattered things

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on clutter

What made you want to look up clutter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!