American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To speak (a language) without fluency: smatters Russian.
- v. To study or approach superficially; dabble in.
- v. To prattle: smattered on about her vacation.
- n. A smattering.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make a noise. Songs and Carols (ed. Wright), No. lxxii.
- To talk superficially or ignorantly.
- To have a slight or superficial knowledge.
- To talk ignorantly or superficially about; use in conversation or quote in a superficial manner.
- To get a superficial knowledge of.
- To taste slightly.
- n. Slight or superficial knowledge; a smattering.
- v. intransitive To talk superficially; to babble.
- v. transitive To speak (a language) with spotty or superficial knowledge.
- v. transitive (figuratively) To study or approach superficially; to dabble in.
- n. superficial knowledge; a smattering
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To talk superficially or ignorantly; to babble; to chatter.
- v. To have a slight taste, or a slight, superficial knowledge, of anything; to smack.
- v. To talk superficially about.
- v. To gain a slight taste of; to acquire a slight, superficial knowledge of; to smack.
- n. Superficial knowledge; a smattering.
- v. to talk foolishly
- v. work with in an amateurish manner
- v. speak with spotty or superficial knowledge
- From Middle English smateren. Compare Swedish smattra, Danish and Norwegian smadre (all of which mean to patter), German schmettern ("to resound"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English smateren, to make dirty, speak foolishly, chatter. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“a superficial "smatter" of knowledge concerning many.”
“Beware magazine images showing squishy, sofa-style furniture – those piles of cushions have to be lugged indoors whenever there's a smatter of rain, then stored somewhere.”
“Shopkeepers board up their windows, plastic bags tumble across the road, a few warning drops smatter the ground foreshadowing the deluge sure to follow.”
“This should serve as a preview for the ridiculousness that Republicans are going to smatter us with this election season.”
“Occasionally he would do a rewrite in reported speech to present a smatter of variety.”
“She knew how to do things and make things and even her good looks were competent, a straightforward sort of ableness, open and clear-eyed, with a smatter of fading freckles and a dirty-minded smile.”
“Several smatter also crowd the bridge keeping an eye out.”
“I just smatter on as much as I want and then stoke the fire up to near heatstroke levels.”
“But when he finished speaking, there was just a smatter of applause outside and there was no walkabout afterwards by the royals, either.”
“Aside from the original blue streak, he had flecks of green and yellow in his hair and a smatter of black across his cheek.”
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