Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To move with a clattering, scurrying sound: "The gun scutters over the tiles and lands against the molding of the hallway with a thump” ( Scott Turow).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To run quickly; to scurry; to scuttle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To scoot or run hastily; scurry; scuttle.
  • n. A hasty, precipitate run.

Etymologies

Alteration of scuttle3.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • A November day, clouds the color of bruises scutter across the sky.

    BLACKBIRD

  • I've woken at dawn to a sleeping village, nursed a mug of coffee in the chill of the open cockpit, watched a moorhen scutter across the smoking water, heard church bells chime the hour and felt—as it's so easy to do on the canals—at one with England.

    The Best Way Through England Is Wet

  • Immediately there was a yell - a scutter - a run - a positive tumult.

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

  • They come down from the walls, they scutter greedily in from far corners of the veranda.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • What replaced them was a sound infinitely more sinister, one that never failed to produce a scutter of gooseflesh up her back: a low, atonal noise, like the warble of a siren be - ing turned by a man without much longer to live.

    Wizard and Glass

  • "Christ, did ye see 'em scutter like wee mousies wi 'a cat on their tails?" said one patient to another, seemingly oblivious of the nasty powder burn that had singed his left arm from knuckles to shoulder.

    Dragonfly in Amber

  • The cat, in a lithe movement that argued long practice, fled like a skimming stone to where the gnarled grape-vine twisted drunkenly round the trellis, and shot up it with a scutter of sharp claws.

    My Family and Other Animals

  • A wild scutter in the water, a plunge and a break for the head-waters of the Clackamas was my reward, and the hot toil of reeling-in with one eye under the water and the other on the top joint of the rod, was renewed.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7

  • Oakshott's Barn, as they had done many and many a time before; a rabbit darted across the clearing, a blackbird called to his mate in the thicket, but save for this, nothing stirred; a great quiet was upon the place, a stillness so profound that Barnabas could distinctly hear the scutter of a rat in the shadows behind him, and the slow, heavy breathing of the sleeper down below.

    The Amateur Gentleman

  • This unease so grew upon me that when not lost in fevered sleep I would lie, with breath in check, listening to such sounds as reached me above the never-ceasing groaning of the vessel's labour, until the squeak and scutter of some rat hard by, or any unwonted rustling beyond the door, would bring me to an elbow in sweating panic.

    Black Bartlemy's Treasure

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