scam·​per | \ ˈskam-pər How to pronounce scamper (audio) \
scampered; scampering\ ˈskam-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce scampering (audio) \

Definition of scamper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to run nimbly and usually playfully about



Definition of scamper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a playful or hurried run or movement

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Synonyms for scamper

Synonyms: Verb

dash, gallop, jog, run, sprint, trip, trot

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Examples of scamper in a Sentence


The kids were scampering around the yard. A mouse scampered across the floor.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After rummaging through the kitchen for anything valuable, the two scampered off once the alarm sounded. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Heights board game café break-in caught on surveillance video," 21 June 2019 Footsteps may scamper with agitation, or amble slowly. Robert Knox,, "Old radio magic will come alive in Marshfield," 13 June 2019 On June 6, 1944, Kepperling scampered down rope netting hanging from the side of a ship into a landing craft that then headed toward Omaha Beach. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On 75th anniversary of invasion, D-Day veterans recall 'all hell was breaking loose'," 6 June 2019 But this thoughtfulness goes sideways and scampers out the door at around 20 minutes into the movie, when Jean can no longer contain the power that she’s absorbed. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Dark Phoenix is a joyless retelling of the X-Men’s most famous story," 5 June 2019 An officer then quickly opened the door, and ran to the other side of the vehicle as the bear climbed out and scampered away, apparently unharmed. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Black bear gets stuck in car and shreds interior," 23 May 2018 Throughout, her swiveling, zaftig figure was encircled by three scampering, hairy men—so skinny that their ribs poked out—all decked out in fetish gear. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Meet Gerilyn, Tbilisi’s Queen of Drag," 21 Nov. 2018 Brock Holt scampered home with the go-ahead run on a throwing error by Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander, a brutal mistake that almost doomed his team. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Dodgers Beat Red Sox, Eventually, in Longest-Ever World Series Game," 27 Oct. 2018 During the day, head over to Piedmont Park so your dog can scamper off-leash at the three-acre bark park. Jessica Migala, Country Living, "7 Great Cities to Visit With Your Dog," 26 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

People on street level scamper out of the way without much prompting. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney World: Villains After Hours event spotlights the dark side," 11 June 2019 The frontrunner was rookie second-round choice Kerryon Johnson, who stacked up 158 yards and 8.3 yards a carry — thanks in large part to one 71-yard scamper. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Five things to know about the Seahawks’ next opponent, the Detroit Lions," 23 Oct. 2018 That 38-yard scamper in the first quarter kicked off a breakout game for Seattle’s first-round draft choice. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Play of the Week: Breaking down Rashaad Penny’s big run in his breakout game," 13 Nov. 2018 Along with the usual beverages, teams of the masked animals wander, scamper and stare about, in exchange for room and board. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "That Raccoon Rooting Through Your Trash Could Be a Big Star in Seoul," 7 Nov. 2018 That’s right—there was a time in the not-too-distant past when parents let their scamper over concrete ziggurats and build their own play structures with hammers and nails. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "How not to cheat children: Let them build their own playgrounds," 18 July 2018 The 26-year-old tenor saxophonist has set most of these original compositions at a medium-fast tempo, and her saxophone stipples and scampers, gesturing toward the influence of the alto saxophonist Steve Lehman. New York Times, "The Playlist: John Mayer Laments the Friend Zone, and 11 More New Songs," 11 May 2018 Franks does hold the school record for the longest run by a Gators’ QB - a 79-yard scamper last season against Texas A&M. Edgar Thompson,, "Three things we learned during Gators' spring game," 15 Apr. 2018 The Patriots then ran out the clock, with Dion Lewis' 18-yard scamper with 90 seconds remaining sealing the victory. Dennis Waszak Jr., San Antonio Express-News, "Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20," 21 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scamper.' 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 scamper


1685, in the meaning defined above


1697, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scamper


probably from obsolete Dutch schampen to flee, from Middle French escamper, from Italian scampare, from Vulgar Latin *excampare to decamp, from Latin ex- + campus field

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Statistics for scamper

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scamper

The first known use of scamper was in 1685

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More Definitions for scamper



English Language Learners Definition of scamper

: to run or move quickly and often playfully


scam·​per | \ ˈskam-pər How to pronounce scamper (audio) \
scampered; scampering

Kids Definition of scamper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to run or move quickly and often playfully about



Kids Definition of scamper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a hurried and often playful run or movement

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More from Merriam-Webster on scamper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scamper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scamper

Spanish Central: Translation of scamper

Nglish: Translation of scamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scamper for Arabic Speakers

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