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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for scamper

Synonyms: Verb

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

McKennie created one of the initial shots with a perfectly weighted through ball to Jordan Morris, and Pulisic created the other by scampering past Jamaican defenders and cutting a pass back to Paul Arriola. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "For the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, Hopes Rise but Mexico Awaits," 6 July 2019 Elephants amble through town and monkeys scamper over the polished marble of Hindu and Jain temples. National Geographic, "India High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 Sidney also scored on a 24-yard run to up the lead to 42-0, returning for a third touchdown in the third quarter, scampering from 54 yards out, raising the lead to 52-0. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Sam Rayburn opens 22-6A action with 66-0 loss to Humble," 13 Sep. 2019 Sixth, seventh and eighth-grade middle schoolers brought by bus scampered to a door at their alternate drop off point. Karie Angell Luc,, "Park Ridge and Niles students return to school despite the rain," 26 Aug. 2019 Two more Garrett scampers later in the half set up another Coby touchdown, the second from 43 yards out. Darren Sabedra, The Mercury News, "Football: Takeaways from De La Salle’s loss to St. Thomas Aquinas," 24 Aug. 2019 This species eats ants, hence its tendency to feed on the ground rather than scamper around trunks. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The percussive appeal of the woodpecker," 17 July 2019 The stage includes a 104-foot runway that juts into the center of the stadium for the lead singer to scamper on. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "The Rolling Stones 2019 tour: Bigger, better video screens bring Mick & Keith up close," 3 July 2019 The choreography by David Dorfman allows the actors to scamper across geography and chronology with grace even when the condensed storytelling gets jumbled. Charles Mcnulty,, "Review: ‘Indecent’ at the Ahmanson pays haunting tribute to a daring Yiddish play," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Senior Victor Ford ran 35 times for 218 yards and Shaker's lone touchdown, a sideline-to-sideline scamper of 11 yards in the fourth quarter. Matt Goul,, "No. 20 Cleveland Heights clobbers rival Shaker Heights, 50-6," 14 Sep. 2019 Chase Laubach had two touchdown runs and Isaiah McElvane added a 61-yard TD scamper for the visitors. Mitch Stephens,, "St. Ignatius rebounds from loss to beat team from Washington state," 14 Sep. 2019 The Rockville native ran for 58 yards on 13 carries (4.5 yards per attempt) and broke off a 20-yard scamper for his longest of the day. Pat Stoetzer,, "McDaniel Notebook: Stefanelli has solid return for Green Terror football," 9 Sep. 2019 Northside matched Limbrick’s second score with Jaylon Travis 1-yard touchdown scamper. Robert Harris, Houston Chronicle, "Northside bests Kashmere in season opener," 30 Aug. 2019 The Florence offense responded to the momentum shift by driving 75 yards in eight plays, capped off by Beckwith’s 18-yard scamper that extended the lead to 35-17. Reports, al, "Dee Beckwith scores 4 TDs as Florence runs past Bob Jones," 14 Sep. 2019 The lead was 24-14 on Lee’s 9-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter after an interception by Liberty lineman Damian Taylor. Matt Schwab, The Mercury News, "No. 2 Liberty survives No. 5 Monte Vista scare to stay unbeaten," 13 Sep. 2019 Marlon Mack, who had 25 carries for 174 yards, brought the Colts within 24-16 after Ekeler’s second touchdown with a career-long 63-yard scamper up the left sideline. Joe Reedy, The Denver Post, "Austin Ekeler scores 3 TDs in Chargers’ OT win over Colts," 8 Sep. 2019 The Tigers took advantage and answered Duvernay's grab with a 12-yard touchdown scamper from tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "Texas falls to LSU in instant classic," 7 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scamper

Dictionary Entries near scamper








Statistics for scamper

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scamper

The first known use of scamper was in 1685

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on scamper

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


to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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