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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Does clutter on your desk or background noise affect you? The Enquirer, 2 July 2021 The things that used to clutter up were books and CDs and DVDs. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, 17 June 2021 That can clutter their screens and hide the F-15 and surrounding aircraft. David Axe, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Advocates for the homeless say there's simply not enough affordable housing to help people who slip into homelessness, which is why tent camps and sleeping bags still clutter highway ramps and city sidewalks. NBC News, 12 May 2021 Giant piles of desiccated zombies clutter the place. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 11 May 2021 Yet nearly two years later, these things still clutter my feeds. Lauren Goode, Wired, 6 Apr. 2021 Online retailers may not want to clutter the checkout screen with too many options. John Detrixhe, Quartz, 10 Mar. 2021 Don’t clutter the email with unnecessary explanations or conversational tidbits, get straight to the point. Shama Hyder, Forbes, 2 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His rock, bottle cap and baseball card collections are sweet, but the clutter is stressing me out. Washington Post, Star Tribune, 15 July 2021 Indoors Portland Fire & Rescue has a safety checklist for inside a home that includes removing clutter and other unnecessary combustibles, and making sure electrical and heating equipment are in good working condition and not overheating. oregonlive, 14 July 2021 In order to sleep soundly, keep your bedroom spared from clutter. Monica Mendal, Vogue, 10 July 2021 For seven years, Aimee Breeden has transformed home interiors — often muddled with clutter and random furnishings — to bring peace of mind to clients long at odds with their décor. Baltimore Sun Staff,, 8 July 2021 Field: Businesses need a way to cut through digital clutter and make lasting impressions with prospects and customers. Mary Juetten, Forbes, 6 July 2021 Astronomers fear the clutter could hurt optical astronomy and the cultural relationship people have with dark skies. Author: Samantha Masunaga, Anchorage Daily News, 6 July 2021 Leaf clutter and tall stems like coneflowers and sunflowers are advantageous. Carol Flynn,, 29 June 2021 Astronomers fear the clutter could hurt optical astronomy and the cultural relationship people have with dark skies. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2021

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of clutter was in 1556

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Statistics for clutter

Last Updated

5 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for clutter



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



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


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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