smat·​ter·​ing | \ ˈsma-tə-riŋ \

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

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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

Even after last year’s tax overhaul, a smattering of breaks routinely expire. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Congress Gears for Final-Stretch Fight Over Border Wall, Mueller Probe," 12 Nov. 2018 In addition, a smattering of celebrities such as musician Dave Matthews and actor Alec Baldwin will add a touch of red carpet feel to the summit, which starts Wednesday. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "A different kind of climate summit comes to San Francisco," 11 Sep. 2018 In the past few seasons, a smattering of independent denim brands have risen up to the occasion, providing solutions to long-standing problems in the market—like limited sizing or concerns about the environmental impact of jean production. Laura Lajiness, Glamour, "5 New Denim Brands That Are Diversifying the Market—And Changing the Game," 20 Aug. 2018 Now, as a sidebar footnote for my fellow leggings/spandex shorts fans: some of my favorite inexpensive training wear finds have been from just Old Navy and Target, with a smattering of random Amazon finds. Casey Johnston, SELF, "Ask a Swole Woman: What Are the Best Pants for Lifting Weights?," 13 Dec. 2018 Thursday's news follows a smattering of other recent Blockbuster closures across the state, which had 13 Blockbusters in 2013 and was down to nine stores by 2016. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s last 2 Blockbuster stores are closing, leaving just one in the U.S.," 13 July 2018 The text of the excerpt contains a smattering of potentially new, identifying details. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Did Satoshi Nakamoto Write This Book Excerpt? A Wired Investigation," 1 July 2018 In addition to promising that Model 3 production targets would soon be met, Musk and a few of his top lieutenants share a smattering of news that sheds light on some of the company's biggest plans. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Elon Musk: Tesla makes its cars 'with love' — and maybe soon in Shanghai and Europe," 5 June 2018 The Hollywood Reporter observed, before proceeding to offer a smattering of suggestions about how Louis C.K. might orchestrate his own such encore. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Sympathy for the Charlie," 26 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of smattering

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

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The first known use of smattering was in 1538

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English Language Learners Definition of smattering

: a small amount of something

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Spanish Central: Translation of smattering

Nglish: Translation of smattering for Spanish Speakers

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