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 Taking it to extremes, the latest model doesn’t even have a proper gear selector to clutter the interior. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 6 Oct. 2021 Accordingly, algae sometimes explodes in toxic blooms and invasive grasses clutter its shores. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Sep. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Obviously Sky Glass is designed for customers who hate clutter, cable spaghetti and the complication of having external receivers and sound systems. John Archer, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 The creator economy is exploding and artists are looking for more ways than ever to break through the clutter and make more money without all the red tape that labels sometimes put in place. Benoni Tagoe, Rolling Stone, 7 Oct. 2021 In an age of abundant content, such high-profile stories break through the clutter, and true crime especially so. Brian Lowry, CNN, 8 Sep. 2021 Despite their different approaches to clutter and cleaning, Will and Ashley fell in love. Jura Koncius, Washington Post, 16 June 2021 Five weeks later, the California Closets team installed everything and for the first time my home workspace transformed into a clutter-free zone of focus and organization. Margaux Lushing, House Beautiful, 2 Sep. 2021 Stands with multiple levels are ideal for keeping chains and pendants from tangling—and nightstands clutter-free. Talia Abbas, Glamour, 11 Aug. 2021 Purchasing a wireless mouse can also help minimize the clutter in your desk area and allows for a larger range of motion. Time, 11 Aug. 2021 Living a clutter-free, minimalistic life could have a genuine and direct impact on your net worth as an individual and your bottom line as an organization. Tony M Fountain, Forbes, 18 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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Dictionary Entries Near clutter




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Statistics for clutter

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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