scat·​ter·​brained | \ ˈska-tər-ˌbrānd How to pronounce scatterbrained (audio) \

Definition of scatterbrained

: having or showing a forgetful, disorganized, or unfocused mind : having the characteristics of a scatterbrain As Detective Gina Calabrese on Miami Vice, Saundra Santiago is all clearheaded efficiency. But off-camera her co-stars think she's scatterbrained. "They consider me a space cadet," says Santiago, who frequently loses keys, misses flights and gets into cabs without cash.— Tim Allis

Examples of scatterbrained in a Sentence

a scatterbrained child who couldn't seem to pay attention or stop fooling around
Recent Examples on the Web Trying to stay organized can be a real pain, especially for those of us who may be a bit scatterbrained. Chris Hachey, BGR, 22 June 2021 President Biden had another dismal week thanks to the accelerating border crisis, the beginnings of his assault on the Second Amendment, Vice President Kamala Harris’s behavior and his scatterbrained performance at a Thursday news conference. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 27 Mar. 2021 Sadat cast Afghan nonactors to paint a scatterbrained picture of parentless adolescence, and outstanding production design immerses us in this historical remembrance. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 5 Mar. 2021 Donald Moffat is superb as a president who masks his ferocity with scatterbrained folksiness. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Aug. 2020 As her frustration mounted and her school progress stalled, Kristine indulged in a series of minor rebellions — ignoring assignments, disrupting class, and affecting a scatterbrained personality in a bid for popularity. Jason Deparle, New York Times, 9 Aug. 2019 He was noticed in what Itzkoff depicts with relish as a scatterbrained television business. David Thomson, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 2018 Attach a durable, waterproof Tile Sport to your backpack or your cooler to be a little less scatterbrained on your outdoor adventures. Wired Staff, WIRED, 7 Apr. 2018 Too many times this season Ehlinger made scatterbrained mistakes at critical junctures. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, 23 Dec. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scatterbrained.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of scatterbrained

1747, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About scatterbrained

Time Traveler for scatterbrained

Time Traveler

The first known use of scatterbrained was in 1747

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near scatterbrained



scatter cushion

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for scatterbrained

Cite this Entry

“Scatterbrained.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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