1 of 2


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

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.


2 of 2


: a crowded or confused mass or collection
a clutter of motels and restaurants
: things that clutter a place
tried to minimize the unnecessary clutter in her house
: interfering radar echoes caused by reflection from objects (as on the ground) other than the target
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
This environment resembled an overgrown forest cluttered with kindling and parched by drought. Daniel W. Drezner, Foreign Affairs, 21 June 2022 Across Fifth Avenue, camera crews, supporters and protesters cluttered the sidewalk. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, 31 May 2024
This makes the installation process easier, as a single power connector runs all of the fans, which also helps to reduce clutter from extra wiring in the case. PCMAG, 10 June 2024 Reduce clutter and the potential for overstimulation in the environment. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 7 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for clutter 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clutter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English clotteren to clot, from clot

First Known Use


1556, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of clutter was in 1556

Dictionary Entries Near clutter

Cite this Entry

“Clutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
clut·​ter ˈklət-ər How to pronounce clutter (audio)
: to fill or cover with a disorderly scattering of things
clutter up a room


2 of 2 noun
: a crowded or confused collection

More from Merriam-Webster on clutter

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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