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

But rest assured that Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia will be a raucous two days of hip-hop, R&B, and EDM with a smattering of indie rock thrown in. Dan Deluca,, "Summer concerts: U2, Lauryn Hill, Taylor Swift and more come to Philly," 6 June 2018 Her skin looked dewy and natural, with a smattering of faux freckles clearly visible. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Wears Loose Blonde Hair for British Vogue Cover," 4 June 2018 In the last year, a smattering of bilateral and multilateral initiatives have sprung up, circumventing the traditional leadership position of the United States. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "How the World Is Coping 1 Year After Trump Abandoned Paris Climate Pact," 31 May 2018 After two decades and a U.S. package of over $10 billion in aid to fight against drug-trafficking groups, a smattering of violent, criminal organizations has arisen with the endof the fighting. Wesley Tomaselli, Washington Post, "Colombians vote in first round of presidential election," 27 May 2018 Below is a smattering of great MLB firsts from some legends, some busts, and some middling players forgotten to time. 1. Staff,, "The Greatest Debuts and First Hits in MLB History After Juan Soto's Unforgettable Moment," 22 May 2018 This feverish barrage of words is much like that previous play — a smattering of small stories, incidents really, some unexpected turns of phrase, the occasional piercing insight into humanity. Matthew J. Palm,, "Review: Title and Deed - Fringe 2018," 14 May 2018 The list was fairly standard for events like these, filled mostly with White House officials, cabinet members, the diplomatic corps and a smattering of surprise faces. The Washington Post,, "At state dinner, first lady Melania Trump seems at ease," 25 Apr. 2018 Since the news broke, a smattering of celebrities have commented on the news and shown their support for McNamara. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Patton Oswalt shares pride for late wife Michelle McNamara for her role in the capture of Golden State Killer," 25 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

14 Sep 2018

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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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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).


the setting in which something occurs

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