follow Dictionary.com

Get our quotes on Facebook!

smattering

[smat-er-ing] /ˈsmæt ər ɪŋ/
noun
1.
a slight, superficial, or introductory knowledge of something:
a smattering of Latin.
adjective
2.
slight or superficial.
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; smatter + -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
smatteringly, adverb

smatter

[smat-er] /ˈsmæt ər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to speak (a language, words, etc.) with superficial knowledge or understanding.
2.
to dabble in.
noun
3.
slight or superficial knowledge; smattering.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English; perhaps < Scandinavian; compare Danish, Norwegian smadre to splash, swash, Swedish smattra to clatter, rattle; compare Middle Low German smetern to chatter
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for smattering
  • To the untrained eye, they're not much to look at--a smattering of tiny squiggles decorating slabs of sandstone.
  • It's amazing how a smattering of solar homes can prevent enormous blackouts.
  • But, as many critics have noted, the film also contains a smattering of more specific cinematic references.
  • Cosmic rays are mostly protons plus a smattering of alpha particles and other atomic nuclei.
  • More cryptic still are a smattering of red dots and half-circles and the floating outline of a fish.
  • But the scam still pops up from time to time, and has resulted in a smattering of arrests.
  • Erudition is valued, and so is a smattering of pretension.
  • Unregistered users can watch a smattering of videos, but entering an e-mail address gets you higher streaming priority.
  • Apart from a smattering of web-exclusive news, newspaper websites tend to be a photocopy of print editions.
  • Because a smattering of growing consumers, everybody is badly handicapped.
British Dictionary definitions for smattering

smattering

/ˈsmætərɪŋ/
noun
1.
a slight or superficial knowledge
2.
a small amount
Derived Forms
smatteringly, adverb

smatter

/ˈsmætə/
noun
1.
a smattering
verb
2.
(intransitive) (rare) to prattle
3.
(transitive) (archaic) to dabble in
Derived Forms
smatterer, noun
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: to prattle): of uncertain origin; compare Middle High German smetern to gossip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for smattering
smatter
c.1410, "talk idly, chatter," perhaps imitative. Similar forms are found in M.H.G. smetern "to chatter" and Swed. smattra "to patter, rattle." Smatterer "one who has superficial knowledge" is attested from c.1519.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for smattering

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for smattering

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with smattering