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 Loud cheers and a smattering of jeers greeted Mr. Trump at that game, but fans of all political persuasions groused over the long security lines associated with a presidential trip. New York Times, "L.S.U.’s offense has come to life.," 13 Jan. 2020 Their smattering of freedom fighters with small arms don’t stand a chance against Imperial armor. Wired, "Ewoks Are the Most Tactically Advanced Fighting Force in Star Wars," 4 Dec. 2019 Furthermore, a smattering of clinical trials in Western Europe and the U.S. have produced some high-profile failures. Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, "Phage Therapy Could Beat Drug-Resistant Illnesses," 1 Nov. 2019 In the spot, a smattering of speakers take turns lambasting impeachment in a variety of settings—at home, in offices, and on factory floors. NBC News, "Pro-Biden super PAC officially launches, calling for country to 'unite'," 31 Oct. 2019 Young’s fourth smattering of Wisconsin’s Jack Coan was a strip-sack in the fourth quarter. Teddy Greenstein,, "J.K. Dobbins and Chase Young dominate as No. 3 Ohio State crushes No. 13 Wisconsin 38-7," 26 Oct. 2019 Although a smattering of fans grabbed T-shirts from volunteers in the surrounding blocks of the Staples Center, only a few could be seen among the sellout crowd. Motez Bishara, CNN, "NBA fans protest China with pro-Hong Kong T-shirt giveaway in Los Angeles," 23 Oct. 2019 Mr Esper received broad bipartisan support in the Senate, though a smattering of Democrats raised concerns about his former job as a lobbyist for a weapons company. The Economist, "Politics this week," 25 July 2019 But every year, a smattering of high-profile attacks on tourists sends ripples through the regional hospitality industry. CBS News, "Some info "doesn't match" statements about attack on U.S. woman at Dominican resort, police say," 3 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for smattering

Time Traveler

The first known use of smattering was in 1538

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Statistics for smattering

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Smattering.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for smattering


How to pronounce smattering (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of smattering

: a small amount of something

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More from Merriam-Webster on smattering

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for smattering

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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