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

intransitive verb

: to run nimbly and usually playfully about


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: a playful or hurried run or movement

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
The dogs scamper straight up, but the mules have to zigzag their way, setting off small rockslides at each rum. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, 1 Feb. 2024 Early Thursday, before Operation Breakthrough would fill with little kids hanging up their coats and scampering to their seats, teacher Vanshay Purnell learned that her mother had died that morning. Laura Bauer, Kansas City Star, 26 Jan. 2024 The bus doors opened, and the happy passengers scampered toward Dodger Stadium. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2023 Amesbury 32, Essex Tech 0 — Max Sanchez scampered for scores of 53 and 62 yards and Michael Sanchez broke free for touchdowns of 27 yards and 80 yards in a Cape Ann League triumph for the Red Hawks (2-0). Nate Weitzer,, 15 Sep. 2023 Three others scampered up tree trunks: a small-bodied species that preferred the lower half of the trunk, one that ventured into the low canopy on large toe pads, and one that favored the high canopy, evolving short limbs to expertly navigate thin branches. Quanta Magazine, 2 Jan. 2024 First scampering onto the scene around 230 million years ago, theropod dinosaurs were some of the biggest predators on the block — and also some of the smallest. Jack Tamisiea, Discover Magazine, 12 Dec. 2023 The video then shows Emilia quickly scampering up the stairs toward her classmates, who excitedly greet her. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 6 Dec. 2023 The cat made a deft U-turn, scampered out of the trap, and vanished. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023
The 24-14 lead grew to 17 points on a 39-yard scamper by Ryan Ventura, playing running back for the first time since his freshman season and finishing with 74 yards on seven carries. Randy Jennings, Dallas News, 16 Sep. 2023 Oliver Doto ran in a pair of scores, a 6-yard scamper and a 30-yarder that put the game out of reach. Nate Weitzer,, 15 Sep. 2023 Aceves ripped off a 61-yard scamper down the left sideline, breaking four separate Buccaneers tackle attempts to set up the score. Richard J. Marcus, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2023 Former Pinson Valley standout and North Carolina A&T running back Kenji Christian scampers for a 25-yard gain into UAB territory but the Aggies go no further and turn the ball over on downs. Evan Dudley, al, 31 Aug. 2023 This one was an eight-play, 80-yard one that resulted in his 11-run scamper at the end. Tim Meehan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2023 Hunter’s longest scamper of the night went for 19 yards. Ainslie Lee |, al, 10 Sep. 2023 Faced with the barking dogs, an approaching wolf scampers away. Kate Brady, Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2023 The Mountain West Conference preseason offensive player of the year rushed for 52 net yards on 10 carries, including a 28-yard scamper on third-and-22 play in the first quarter that set up San José State’s first touchdown. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


1685, in the meaning defined above


1697, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scamper was in 1685

Dictionary Entries Near scamper

Cite this Entry

“Scamper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


scampered; scampering
: to run lightly and usually playfully about
scamper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on scamper

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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