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

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Examples of scamper in a Sentence

Verb The kids were scampering around the yard. A mouse scampered across the floor.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The dogs scamper straight up, but the mules have to zigzag their way, setting off small rockslides at each rum. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: The Lion Dogs," 30 Dec. 2020 In the arid south, brown or ringed lemurs can scamper for miles on the ground; in Antohakalava, the species are largely arboreal and stay high up in the trees, safe from a catlike predator called the foosa. Erik Vance, New York Times, "In Madagascar, Endangered Lemurs Find a Private Refuge," 26 Oct. 2020 The Longhorns rushed four, but with four defensive linemen in wide splits and each linebacker focused solely on a receiver, Duggan was able to scamper straight upfield for the score. Dallas News, "Texas coordinators Ash, Yurcich discuss anticipation of their first Red River Showdown; Jordan Whittington expected to play," 7 Oct. 2020 The ball came to rest down the third-base line for an infield single, allowing Gyorko to scamper home. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 7, Indians 1: Late-game outburst leads to satisfying victory," 4 Sep. 2020 With laser scanners mounted on their backs, Fluffy and Spot can scamper around the 200,000 square-metre plant collecting data. The Economist, "Robotics Robots that can walk are now striding to market," 25 Aug. 2020 These baby animals and more are starting to scamper around—just in time for Mother's Day. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Celebrate Mother’s Day With Nine Baby Animal Livestreams," 8 May 2020 Piping plovers, like this one photographed in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Ipswich, Massachusetts, are small birds that scamper along the shoreline. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "See Birds Dive, Splash and Play in These Prize-Winning Photos," 15 July 2020 Children scamper around a school playground and climb a jungle gym. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "In California town destroyed by fire, a search for meaning," 22 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The play was set up by Randolph’s 58-yard scamper on the prior snap. Montague came right back, with Collins hitting Smith on a 25-yard pass play up the middle and Smith didn’t need to break stride to get to the end zone. Wright Wilson, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan high school football: Montague rolls by Clinton to win Division 6 state crown," 22 Jan. 2021 Martin scored on a 1-yard run, Simmons scored on a 12-yard scamper and Martin connected with Bryson Chambers on a 13-yard TD pass. Reports, al, "Huntsville roundup: Austin overcomes 16-point deficit to beat Grissom 25-23," 3 Oct. 2020 As for his two seasons with the Cowboys, Seder scored not only as a kicker (147 points) but as a runner (12 points) with a 1-yd TD rush in 2000 versus the Bengals and an 8-yard TD scamper on a fake field goal versus the Raiders in 2001. Kristi Scales, Dallas News, "Greg Zuerlein’s misses changed the course of Cowboys-Ravens, but it’s not the most eventful kicking night in team history," 9 Dec. 2020 Murrell, who ran for 175 yards on 35 carries, got the second of his three TDs with 6:31 left in the third on a 14-yard scamper. Reports, al, "Handley, American Christian, others win to AHSAA semifinal playoffs," 21 Nov. 2020 But that was merely a brief stumble for the Irish, who responded with a 75-yard drive capped by Williams' 2-yard score, led 17-7 at halftime and finished off the home team when C’Bo Flemister scored on a 3-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter. Paul Newberry,, "Notre Dame stifles Georgia Tech 31-13 behind the play of Kyren Williams and Ian Book," 31 Oct. 2020 Montgomery, coming off a season-high 103-yard game in a loss to the Green Bay Packers, scored Chicago’s first touchdown on a 13-yard run, and Patterson followed with a 5-yard scamper on Chicago’s next offensive possession. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions complete stunning comeback vs. Bears in Darrell Bevell's debut, 34-30," 6 Dec. 2020 His 33-yard run set up his 9-yard touchdown scamper that gave the Buckeyes a 13-10 lead with 2:31 left in the third quarter. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Sermon carries No. 3 Ohio State past No. 14 Northwestern to win another Big Ten title," 20 Dec. 2020 Gordon provided the coup de grace with a 57-yard scamper that gave Trinity a 49-10 advantage with 5:02 left in the third quarter, putting a bow on a present of payback. Dallas News, "‘Payback was on our minds’: Euless Trinity avenges last two losses against Haltom with dominant 56-10 win," 27 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for scamper

Time Traveler

The first known use of scamper was in 1685

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Statistics for scamper

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scamper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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