1

scramble

verb scram·ble \ ˈskram-bəl \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of scramble

scrambled; scrambling play \ˈskram-b(ə-)liŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a : to move with urgency or panic
b : to move or climb hastily on all fours
2 a : to struggle eagerly or unceremoniously for possession of something
  • scramble for front seats
b : to get or gather something with difficulty or in irregular ways
  • scramble for a living
3 : to spread or grow irregularly : sprawl, straggle
4 : to take off quickly in response to an alert
5 of a football quarterback : to run with the ball after the pass protection breaks down
transitive verb
1 : to collect by scrambling
2 a : to toss or mix together : jumble
b : to prepare (eggs) by stirring during frying
3 : to cause or order (a fighter-interceptor group) to scramble
4 : to disarrange the elements of a transmission (such as a telephone or television signal) in order to make unintelligible to interception

scrambler

play \ˈskram-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of scramble in a Sentence

  1. We scrambled over the boulders and kept climbing up the mountain.

  2. He scrambled up the ramp.

  3. reporters scrambling to finish stories by deadline

  4. Both players scrambled for the ball.

  5. News of the factory closing found workers scrambling to find jobs.

  6. It started to rain, and we all scrambled for cover.

  7. I'll scramble some eggs for breakfast.

Recent Examples of scramble from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of scramble

perhaps alteration of 1scrabble

2

scramble

noun

Definition of scramble

1 : the act or an instance of scrambling
2 : a disordered mass : jumble
  • a … scramble of patterns and textures
  • Vogue
3 : a rapid emergency takeoff of fighter-interceptor planes
4 golf : a team competition in which all the members of a team tee off on each hole, one of the tee shots is selected, all members hit shots from the position of the selected shot, one shot is again selected, and the process is continued until the hole is completed
  • Sawgrass seemed a far cry from the first competitive golf event I ever played in, a weekend scramble at my local club.
  • —David Owen

Examples of scramble in a Sentence

  1. a quick scramble over boulders

  2. the scramble for power in the country

  3. a scramble for the ball

  4. There was a mad scramble to fill vacant positions at the school.

Recent Examples of scramble from the Web

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

First Known Use of scramble

1648


SCRAMBLE Defined for English Language Learners

scramble

verb

Definition of scramble for English Language Learners

  • : to move or climb over something quickly especially while also using your hands

  • : to move or act quickly to do, find, or get something often before someone else does

  • : to prepare (eggs) by mixing the white and yellow parts together and then stirring the mixture in a hot pan


scramble

noun

Definition of scramble for English Language Learners

  • : the act of moving or climbing over something quickly especially while also using your hands

  • : the act of moving or acting quickly to do, find, or get something

  • American football : a play in which the quarterback runs with the ball while being chased by defensive players


SCRAMBLE Defined for Kids

1

scramble

verb scram·ble \ ˈskram-bəl \

Definition of scramble for Students

scrambled; scrambling
1 : to move or climb quickly and if necessary on hands and knees
  • … the boats were pushed into the water, and … we scrambled into them as best we could.
  • —Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins
2 : to cook the mixed whites and yolks of eggs by stirring them while frying
3 : to put in the wrong order
  • The letters of the word are scrambled.
4 : to work hard to win or escape something
  • She had to scramble to earn a living.

2

scramble

noun

Definition of scramble for Students

: a disorderly rush
  • They heard … a scramble and a shout: “Call off your dog! …”
  • —Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie


Seen and Heard

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