clut·​ter | \ ˈklə-tər How to pronounce clutter (audio) \
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.



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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The warm, damp conditions can damage sensitive ingredients, and the bottles and tubes tend to clutter up what should ideally be a spot for getting ready in the morning. The Week Staff, The Week, 5 Oct. 2018 Gambel oaks, boxelder, New Mexico locust and a tangle of the eponymous willow trees clutter the slopes. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 8 July 2022 Tangled wires and unlabeled charging cords that clutter your desk drawers? Seventeen, 22 June 2022 College students looking to de-clutter their dorm rooms unload gently used casual wear and shoes, as well as men and women’s formal wear. AccessAtlanta, 27 May 2022 Vintage dolls, hats, figurines, masks, purses, toys, lanterns and framed photographs clutter every surface. Suzanne Van Atten, ajc, 12 Oct. 2013 Erickson warned that wind turbines would clutter the landscape, disrupt the hunting and outdoor recreation economy, and provide scant financial returns. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Jan. 2022 Keeping your underwear and bras organized is a different kind of struggle since undergarments can quickly clutter up a dresser drawer. Isabel Garcia,, 4 Jan. 2022 Don’t clutter your presentation slides with text, words, and bullet points since your audience can’t read and listen attentively to your story at the same time. Carmine Gallo, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Working, living and entertaining at home can make for clutter in a space meant to be a serene, safe haven. Khortlyn Cole, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Aug. 2022 On top of rent increases, residents complained of being inundated with fees for everything from pets to maintenance and fines for clutter and speeding — all tucked into leases that can run upwards of 50 pages. CBS News, 26 July 2022 Modern designs tend to be soothing to look at, which means all clutter and unsightly essentials should be tucked away neatly out of sight. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 25 July 2022 On top of rent increases, residents complained of being inundated with fees for everything from pets to maintenance and fines for clutter and speeding — all tucked into leases that can run upwards of 50 pages. Michael Casey And Carolyn Thompson, Anchorage Daily News, 25 July 2022 That typically involves removing personal decor and clutter on countertops and tabletops. Kristine Gill, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 July 2022 It's gorgeously remastered, too, thus allowing its exquisite clutter to pop that much louder. Randall Colburn,, 12 July 2022 Clear out your clutter with the help of the city at Evanston Recycles Day on Saturday, July 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. Chicago Tribune, 5 July 2022 Each episode is a very digestible thirteen minutes long and has lots of great ideas to help viewers organize their homes, no matter what their clutter looks like. Amanda Lauren, Forbes, 3 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of clutter


1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for clutter

Verb and Noun

Middle English clotteren to clot, from clot

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Time Traveler for clutter

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The first known use of clutter was in 1556

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Statistics for clutter

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for clutter


clut·​ter | \ ˈklə-tər How to pronounce clutter (audio) \
cluttered; cluttering

Kids Definition of clutter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fill or cover with scattered things



Kids Definition of clutter (Entry 2 of 2)

: a collection of scattered things

More from Merriam-Webster on clutter

Nglish: Translation of clutter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clutter for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about clutter


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