Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who smatters; one who dabbles in or experiments with a little bit of everything, especially knowledge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who has only a slight, superficial knowledge; a sciolist.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who smatters, in any sense; one who has only slight or superficial knowledge.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • But the worst of it is that all efforts in this direction have generally ended in producing a "smatterer," whose theories are baffled by constant disappointment, and whose worldly prosperity is lessened by his mistaken experiments.

    Village Improvements and Farm Villages

  • Nor was his the case of the mere literary smatterer, content if he but learn the names of things.

    Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin

  • At this explanation she shook her head, and observed that no smatterer could read as I had done.

    The Adventures of Roderick Random

  • By the first, many a smatterer acquires the reputation of a man of quick parts; by the other, many a dunderpate, like the owl, the stupidest of birds, comes to be considered the very type of wisdom.

    Washington Irving

  • He turned out in the end to be a mere smatterer, who did but skim over the surface of things, pretending to know every thing, but knowing nothing thoroughly.

    The Alhambra

  • Rabban Simeon, who perished in the siege of the city; and he spake these things when some of the learnedest Rabbins were by: and yet that they understood not these words, which even a smatterer in the oriental tongues would very easily understand!

    From the Talmud and Hebraica

  • Any knowledge of their theory short of actual accuracy is nearly useless; perhaps worse than useless, because, by beguiling the unhappy smatterer into ambitious attempts, it cheats him of the little power he may have of rendering himself intelligible.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 61, No. 376, February, 1847

  • By the first many a smatterer acquires the reputation of a man of quick parts; by the other many a dunderpate, like the owl, the stupidest of birds, comes to be considered the very type of wisdom.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8

  • The general appearance of the poet had, from the first moment, interested me in his misfortunes; and being a smatterer in learning myself, my vanity, perhaps, was flattered with the idea of becoming the protector of a man of letters in distress.

    The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

  • [Page 10] take, or more probably an insertion by a later smatterer of literary knowledge who inherited the manuscript.

    Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

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