clutter

verb
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.

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

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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

The steering wheel controls are cluttered and counterintuitive but it could be mastered in more than a day. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Review: 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid clears the way for electrification," 31 Aug. 2017 There are too many candidates cluttering the stage at the moment. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "In Chicago, Another Daley Looks to Revive a Political Dynasty," 22 Jan. 2019 As the city expanded and industrialized, its churches and monuments became blackened with soot and grime; its quays, cluttered with warehouses and frequented by prostitutes. Molly Wizenberg, Town & Country, "Vintage Bordeaux," 14 Jan. 2013 Will there be highways cluttered with thousands of inoperable vehicles? WSJ, "Mr. Nader Misses the Mark on Driverless Cars," 30 Aug. 2018 Bags from designer boutiques like Maxfield cluttered the foyer. New York Times, "Growing Up Getty," 23 June 2018 The early chapters trace a romance—not with Ántonia, but with the prairies’ long sweep and rolling swells, vast as the sea, radiant with beauty, open and free as Eastern cities were cluttered and crowded. Robert Garnett, WSJ, "Rooted in America’s Heartland," 14 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The response to dockless bikes in Australia was hostile—even in bike-friendly places like Melbourne, the country’s second-biggest city, where the former mayor declared bikes left on sidewalks to be clutter. Mike Cherney, WSJ, "Lime Looks to Peddle Its Bicycles in Australia," 16 Jan. 2019 Many commercial stations trade clutter for clusters—that is, a solid block of commercials running five minutes or more, followed by lengthy commercial-free stretches of time. Peter Funt, WSJ, "Who’s to Blame for Ad Clutter," 6 Jan. 2019 Looks like less store clutter as well as less emphasis on discounts, discounts, discounts is working for Macy’s. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Macy's Shares Jump on Signs That a Turnaround Is Working," 16 May 2018 Purity in style is akin to purity of mind and body to you—too much clutter overwhelms your psyche. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "15 Ways You Know You're a Calvin Klein Minimalist," 24 Apr. 2014 The easiest and most affordable way to do this is to make sure your home is clean and clutter free for showing. Carpenter Realtors, Indianapolis Star, "Selling your home? This is your ultimate to-do list," 7 May 2018 As annual iCloud costs hit bank accounts and the debate between Inbox Zero and Inbox Infinity rages on, the tidying of online clutter feels all the more vital. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "How I KonMari’d My Inbox (and My Desktop, and My Phone)," 28 Jan. 2019 Yellin, a journalist who founded the media platform News Not Noise—aimed at helping readers cut through the clutter of 2018's news cycle—opened up her Instagram Story with a shout-out to Schumer. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Amy Schumer Is Pregnant With Her First Child," 22 Oct. 2018 Services like thredUP and Poshmark are great ways to de-clutter your closet. Alessandra Puccio /, NBC News, "Finding your (hidden) value," 13 July 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.

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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

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Learn More about clutter

Dictionary Entries near clutter

clutchman

Clutha

cluther

clutter

clutterer

cly

Clyde

Statistics for clutter

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clutter

The first known use of clutter was in 1556

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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 How to pronounce clutter (audio) \
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

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