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

Some departments reported receiving only a smattering of advanced notices from the Registry. Matt Stout,, "Amid criticism it is skirting requirements, RMV to meet with local police," 5 Aug. 2019 Some storms may bring only a smattering of rain, while others might drop several inches in a short time, resulting in significant flooding as flows are funneled down and gush from narrow canyons. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Desert travelers should be wary of potential flash floods," 27 July 2019 Even the dining room is a cipher: Designed by Lundberg Design, the company that also worked on Mourad and Bluestem Brasserie, the room’s bare concrete walls are decorated with a smattering of anonymous glazed pottery pieces. Soleil Ho,, "At Maum in Palo Alto, a tasting menu that celebrates Korean American classics," 8 Aug. 2019 Also among reports were a smattering of warblers: ovenbird, black-and-white, common yellowthroat, American redstart, yellow, and pine., "Bird sightings," 29 July 2019 But the $150 Charge 3, with its big display and smattering of smartwatch capabilities, is for a different audience than those who would gravitate to the tiny, quasi-cylindrical Flex 2. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Fitbit Charge 3 review: Peppering a fitness tracker with smartwatch powers," 12 Oct. 2018 But in the United States, crypto companies must try to comply with a smattering of state and federal regulations. Clare Duffy And Shannon Liao, CNN, "Facebook's Libra could massively help the cryptocurrency industry — or hurt it badly," 29 July 2019 The route heads right (west) at the sign and begins with a shady walk among pines and firs, with a smattering of aspens tucked into clearings. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This Flagstaff mountain hike surrounds you with summer wildflowers," 18 July 2019 The latest iteration provides filters that turn users either into smooth-faced baby versions of themselves or wrinkly geriatrics with a smattering of sun spots and gray hair. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Thanks to FaceApp, These Celebrities Aged Overnight," 17 July 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.

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

31 Aug 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).



Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!