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

Keep scrolling for more

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

One issue is clearly not money: Paramount Network has every actor imaginable in this series — familiar faces like Huston and Hennessy and Wendy Moniz, all getting a smattering of lines that hint their characters might be developed later. Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Yellowstone': TV Review," 18 June 2018 Power poles and lines litter the ground in some areas, and only a smattering of repair crews are visible on a typical day. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "For Puerto Rico, the Return to Business as Usual Is Slow," 19 Mar. 2018 Glue a smattering of leaves to your jar, then brush an additional layer of glue on top of each one; the glue will crinkle your newspaper a bit and ensure that your leaves stay put. Lauren Oster, Redbook, "Autumn DIY: Paper-and-Glass Leaf Votives," 18 Nov. 2010 Plenty of cheerful young Aussies, as well as a smattering of Harvard Business School–bound gappers on Rumspringa-like tours of the region’s fastest growing economy, filled the street cafés and five-dollar-a-night hotels. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "Editor's Letter: Coming Full Circle," 13 Nov. 2018 The new site will focus primarily on service stories, including content from the print magazine; coverage of some live events, such as awards shows; a smattering of topical news; and videos. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, "O, The Oprah Magazine Gets a New Digital Home:," 9 Oct. 2018 The surrounding three counties — Grant, Green and Iowa — have a smattering of small lakes among them, with the 952-acre McCartney Lake (really a slough along the Mississippi River west of Potosi) being the only sizable one of the bunch. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Paddling the Pecatonica through the Driftless Region," 24 May 2018 Now a smattering of boutiques clusters around the winery and its sister property, Inn on the Twenty, across the street in a former sugar mill. Patricia Harris And David Lyon,, "Beyond the falls: the delicious tastes of Niagara," 25 Apr. 2018 Along each side of the laptop are a smattering of ports: two USB Type-C, a docking port, a USB Type-A, and an HDMI on the left; a headphone jack and another USB-A port on the right. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018) review: business in the front, business in the back," 12 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.

See More

First Known Use of smattering

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about smattering

Dictionary Entries near smattering


S matrix





sm cap

Statistics for smattering

Last Updated

25 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smattering

The first known use of smattering was in 1538

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for smattering



English Language Learners Definition of smattering

: a small amount of something

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on smattering

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smattering

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smattering

Spanish Central: Translation of smattering

Nglish: Translation of smattering for Spanish Speakers

Comments on smattering

What made you want to look up smattering? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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