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

Lyons Peak got a smattering 0.03 of an inch of rain and Harbison Canyon 0.01. Pauline Repard,, "San Diego County forecast this week: Hot, humid, cloudy," 7 July 2018 Scholars have found only a smattering of examples of ones made during the country’s 2,000 years of dynastic rule. The Economist, "Will-writing is becoming more popular in China," 7 June 2018 What if only a smattering of Eagles players show up? Marcus Hayes,, "Jeffrey Lurie has to take the Eagles to the White House, but anti-Trump players should decline | Marcus Hayes," 20 May 2018 The area was then a smattering of homes surrounded by lush citrus trees. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 While there are a smattering of sushi places in and around Elgin, what will set Kubo apart is the range of Japanese styles that will be on the menu, including ramen, udon and vegetarian and gluten-free options, Kris Palermo said. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Downtown Elgin sushi and sake spot set for mid-August opening," 10 July 2018 Below is just a smattering of series to keep on your radar. Trevor Fraser,, "Wanna catch a flick?," 19 June 2018 Cars flooded, Interstate 10 was shut down for hours, and a smattering of parades and other gatherings were called off. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Heavy rains dampen Houston area’s Fourth of July celebrations," 4 July 2018 Even when going as simple as possible — just a touch of foundation here or a smattering of concealer there — the heat can turn the most minimally made-up face into one shiny beacon of light that rivals the sun. Marissa Desantis, Allure, "At Dior Haute Couture 2018, This Serum Kept Models' Makeup From Melting Off," 3 July 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

9 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for smattering

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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Comments on smattering

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by force of circumstances

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