smat·​ter·​ing | \ ˈsma-tə-riŋ How to pronounce smattering (audio) \

Definition of smattering

1 : superficial piecemeal knowledge a smattering of carpentry, house painting, bricklaying— Alva Johnston
2 : a small scattered number or amount a smattering of spectators

Examples of smattering in a Sentence

She only knows a smattering of German. a smattering of guests at the art exhibit
Recent Examples on the Web He was introduced on the video board about 10 minutes before the first pitch Friday and was cheered by the smattering of early arriving fans. Patrick Stevens, Chron, 13 May 2022 The reverent silence which followed was, for many seconds, broken only by a smattering of approving hums from the audience. Hannah Edgar, Chicago Tribune, 6 May 2022 Best actress nominee Nicole Kidman, too, wore a smattering of shimmery bits on the two-tailed train of her own strapless periwinkle Armani Privé. Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2022 President Joe Biden signed his $1 trillion infrastructure deal into law Monday on the White House lawn, with a smattering of Republican lawmakers on hand for what could be one of the last shows of bipartisanship ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Josh Boak,, 15 Nov. 2021 Several factors could play a role in the increase in bacteria, including a smattering of unexpected rain in parts of Southern California on Monday. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2021 No bother, as he's got a smattering of club shows on festival dates on a summer and fall schedule, with Desert Hearts also currently planning a fall City Hearts Tour. Katie Bain, Billboard, 9 June 2021 Mermaid gowns can be frustratingly hit or miss, but with a smattering of multi-sized sequins doing the heavy lifting, this corset gown on Precious Lee pulls off a win. ELLE, 4 May 2022 Despite the competition, the opening-night crowd at the World of Wonders was far from a smattering, and the Great Gozleone, Luella Lynne, and a troupe of performers from New Orleans had the audience eating out of the palms of their hands. David Hill, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of smattering

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About smattering

Time Traveler for smattering

Time Traveler

The first known use of smattering was in 1538

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near smattering




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for smattering

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Smattering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on smattering

Nglish: Translation of smattering for Spanish Speakers


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?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!