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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet nearly two years later, these things still clutter my feeds. Lauren Goode, Wired, "I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget," 6 Apr. 2021 Online retailers may not want to clutter the checkout screen with too many options. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Why executives are suddenly talking about “buy now pay later”," 10 Mar. 2021 Don’t clutter the email with unnecessary explanations or conversational tidbits, get straight to the point. Shama Hyder, Forbes, "7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand In 2021," 2 Mar. 2021 My sweet Mama's love for new things often clashes with her aversion to clutter. Jorie Nicole Mcdonald, Southern Living, "After Trying This $13 Liquid Lipstick, I’ll Never Use Anything Else," 7 Feb. 2021 These pieces of misfolded proteins clutter together and are responsible for the death of nerve cells that eventually results in the first symptoms of dementia. Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science, "Four plants that are scientifically proven to be therapeutic," 25 Jan. 2021 With the vast resources of YouTube and streaming, and WAV and MP3 files, why clutter up my life with all that plastic and paper? Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Why I can’t get rid of my CDs," 29 Dec. 2020 The massive constellation of satellites has also raised concerns about space junk that could clutter the night sky and increase the risks of collisions with other satellites and spacecraft. Caroline Glenn,, "SpaceX’s Starlink internet web undergoes ‘better than nothing’ tests, but no word on service for Florida," 1 Dec. 2020 Games are getting larger and larger, and even having installed mostly Xbox Series X Enhanced titles, the SSD quickly began to clutter up. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "The Xbox Series X is the best computer console owners have ever tried," 5 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So the scientists in the GH Beauty Lab have cut through the clutter for you. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, "Good Housekeeping's 2021 Beauty Awards," 21 Apr. 2021 Kitchens are prone to collecting a hodgepodge of paraphernalia, and pets bring their own unique brand of clutter into the space. Janice Costa, House Beautiful, "How to Design a Pet-Friendly Kitchen," 21 Apr. 2021 With the Brockhampton songs now clear of clutter, there isn’t anything to distract from the group’s flashbacks and revelations. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, "Brockhampton Makes Good on Its Supergroup Promise," 20 Apr. 2021 Many child care educators have a dual role: to take care of the children and ensure areas are clean and free of clutter. Coraline Dufroux, Forbes, "How To Hire The Right Professional Cleaner For Your Child Care Center," 15 Apr. 2021 From there, putting files and folders in their respective categories instantly organizes a mountain of clutter into a more usable layout. Yoni Heisler, BGR, "This viral TikTok hack for organizing your desktop is blowing people’s minds," 19 Mar. 2021 Just as great design seamlessly melds fashion and function, the best pet-friendly kitchens create stylish, integrated spaces that allow your pets to be part of the family, without adding clutter or creating safety hazards for paws and tails. Janice Costa, House Beautiful, "How to Design a Pet-Friendly Kitchen," 21 Apr. 2021 With its single-cable connectivity (no discrete audio and audio cables), the speaker can also aid in reducing office clutter. Mark Vena, Forbes, "4 New Tech Products For The Smart Home And Office," 15 Apr. 2021 The Coldwell Banker Realty Carlsbad office is hosting a free drive-thru paper-shredding event from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday to help the community securely dispose of paper clutter like tax documents or other sensitive items. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County Business Briefs, April 11," 11 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clutter

Time Traveler for clutter

Time Traveler

The first known use of clutter was in 1556

See more words from the same year

Statistics for clutter

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on clutter

What made you want to look up clutter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!