Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To run or go quickly and lightly: children scampering off to play.
  • n. A quick light run or movement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A quick, light run.
  • v. To run quickly and lightly, especially in a playful manner or in an undignified manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To run with speed; to run or move in a quick, hurried manner; to hasten away.
  • n. A scampering; a hasty flight.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who scamps work.
  • To run with speed; hasten away.
  • n. A hasty run or flight.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. rushing about hastily in an undignified way
  • v. to move about or proceed hurriedly

Etymologies

Probably from Flemish schampeeren, frequentative of obsolete Dutch schampen, to run away, decamp, from Middle Dutch ontscampen, from Old French escamper, from Old Italian scampare, from Vulgar Latin *excampāre, from Latin ex campō, out of the field : ex, away; see ex- + campō, ablative of campus, field.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1687. Origin uncertain, but possibly from Dutch schamperen, from Old French escamper, from Italian scampare ("to run away"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I've enjoyed watching this game of blog tag scamper about some of my favorite blog writers.

    I'm it.

  • Thanks!!! bill dance fishing flygate chironomid cheap vanagon transporteur treasure hunter karman ghia teenie two carravelle autosleeper hausman crooked tongues running shoes lance agreement xp2400 king size alpha tag scamper financial centre - 2006-08-20 13: 56: 35

    Sunday, Update on pics

  • He swiveled aside to let a stream of half-naked boys and girls playing some spontaneously generated variant of tag scamper past.

    Beowulf's Children

  • Bran, [423] poor fellow, lies yawning at my feet, and cannot think what is become of the daily scamper, which is all his master's inability affords him.

    The Journal of Sir Walter Scott From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford

  • MALVEAUX: And then the mice that used to, like, kind of scamper a bit.

    CNN Transcript Jul 11, 2007

  • MALVEAUX: That used to, like, kind of scamper a bit.

    CNN Transcript Jul 15, 2007

  • Which means he has to do a little bit better than "scamper" around the perimeter.

    CelticsBlog

  • There's no reason why a Roman barracks should have been any different from an 18th-century European one, with entire families crammed into the neat rooms, with bunks curtained off, and the young couple in the corner on the top bunk making babies while the woman in the bottom bunk is giving birth to her fourth, and the children scamper under foot, or making themselves useful polishing kit.

    They're still our lads...

  • I say the Serenity Prayer every day with my kids before they scamper in to the schoolhouse. datingjesus

    Reinhold Niebuhr wrote it after all « Dating Jesus

  • Robinson's scamper from acting half raised hopes of a fightback, but they were quickly dashed by the officials.

    England out of Four Nations after conclusive defeat by Australia

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