scat·​ter·​brained ˈska-tər-ˌbrānd How to pronounce scatterbrained (audio)
: 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 The company enlisted Donald Duck’s scatterbrained cartoon uncle, Prof. Ludwig Von Drake, in a video on to make its case that Disney’s current board members are up to the job. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, Hudson turns up her ditz-o-meter to 11, twirling and screaming her way through a performance that should remind Hollywood of her singular scatterbrained talents. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2022 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 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1747, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scatterbrained was in 1747

Dictionary Entries Near scatterbrained

Cite this Entry

“Scatterbrained.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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