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

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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

Instead, 24 people—including Tasaki’s president Toshikazu Tajima, as well as a smattering of the city’s jewelry luminaries and a few editors who had just finished up a month-long slog of shows—sat at a chicly deconstructed version of a sushi bar. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Prabal Gurung Wore a Pearl Earring to His Dinner Celebrating Tasaki’s New London Store," 8 Mar. 2019 Serve with a healthy smattering of herbs and a dash of nutmeg for best results. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "The 10 Most-Pinned Fall Recipes on Pinterest," 12 Sep. 2018 Roughly the top 100 men and women in singles and a smattering of doubles and wheelchair players make up the testing pool of 250 professional tennis players. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "A Broken Intercom, a Missed Drug Test and a Tennis Player in Limbo," 16 May 2018 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, GOP mega donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, as well as a smattering of Evangelical leaders were also present. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "As criticism for Israel mounts, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem," 16 May 2018 Over the next 45 years, John charted 71 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (a smattering written with other lyricists or by other songwriters). Randy Lewis,, "Bernie Taupin reflects on 50 years of working with Elton John — and why their songs have endured," 8 Apr. 2018 Attendees stood to see him and there was a smattering of applause from the mostly Saudi audience. Nicolas Parasie, WSJ, "‘Everybody Is Talking About’ Khashoggi at Saudi Conference," 23 Oct. 2018 In looking at a smattering of buildings in two big cities, and focusing on the work of a handful of major architects, Mr. Kirchheimer sketches the skyscraper as a feat of engineering, a work of imagination and part of an ongoing cultural argument. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘Tall’ Is a Little Movie About How Buildings Got So Big," 17 Jan. 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near smattering


S matrix





sm cap

Statistics for smattering

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on smattering

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smattering

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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).


an enemy or opponent

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