Definitions

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

  • n. A small opening or hatch with a movable lid in the deck or hull of a ship or in the roof, wall, or floor of a building.
  • n. The lid or hatch of such an opening.
  • transitive v. Nautical To cut or open a hole or holes in (a ship's hull).
  • transitive v. Nautical To sink (a ship) by this means.
  • transitive v. Informal To scrap; discard: "a program [the] President . . . sought to scuttle” ( Christian Science Monitor).
  • n. A metal pail for carrying coal.
  • n. A shallow open basket for carrying vegetables, flowers, or grain.
  • intransitive v. To run or move with short hurried movements; scurry.
  • n. A hurried run.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A container like an open bucket (usually to hold and carry coal).
  • n. A hatch that provides access to the roof from the interior of a building.
  • n. A small hatch or opening in a boat. Also, small opening in a boat or ship for draining water from open deck.
  • v. To deliberately sink a ship or boat by order of the vessel's commander or owner.
  • v. Undermine or thwart oneself (sometimes intentionally), or denigrate or destroy one's position or property; compare scupper.
  • v. To move hastily, to scurry

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A broad, shallow basket.
  • n. A wide-mouthed vessel for holding coal: a coal hod.
  • intransitive v. To run with affected precipitation; to hurry; to bustle; to scuddle.
  • n. A quick pace; a short run.
  • n. A small opening in an outside wall or covering, furnished with a lid.
  • n. A small opening or hatchway in the deck of a ship, large enough to admit a man, and with a lid for covering it, also, a like hole in the side or bottom of a ship.
  • n. An opening in the roof of a house, with a lid.
  • n. The lid or door which covers or closes an opening in a roof, wall, or the like.
  • transitive v. To cut a hole or holes through the bottom, deck, or sides of (as of a ship), for any purpose.
  • transitive v. To sink by making holes through the bottom of.
  • transitive v. To defeat, frustrate, abandon, or cause to be abandoned; -- of plans, projects, actions, hopes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A broad, shallow dish; a platter. Compare scuttle-dish.
  • n. A deep vessel of sheet-iron, copper, or brass, used for holding coal in small amounts; a coal-scuttle or coal-hod. See coal-scuttle.
  • n. A swabber used for cleaning a bakers' oven.
  • n. Nautical, a small hatchway or opening in the deck, with a lid for covering it; also, a like hole in the side of a ship, or through the coverings of her hatchways; by extension, a hole in general.
  • n. A square hole in the wall or roof of a house, covered with a lid; also, the lid that covers such an opening.
  • Naut, to cut holes through the bottom or sides of (a ship) for any purpose; specifically, to sink by making holes through the bottom.
  • To run hurriedly, or with short, hurried steps; hurry.
  • n. A quick pace; a short, hurried run; a mincing, affected gait.

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

  • v. to move about or proceed hurriedly
  • n. an entrance equipped with a hatch; especially a passageway between decks of a ship
  • n. container for coal; shaped to permit pouring the coal onto the fire

Etymologies

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

Middle English skottell, from Old French escoutille, possibly from Spanish escotilla.
Middle English scutel, basket, from Old English, dish, from Latin scutella; see scullery.
Middle English scottlen; possibly akin to scud.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English scutel ("dish, platter"), from Latin scutella, diminutive form of Latin scutra ("flat tray, dish"), perhapes related to Latin scutum ("shield"); compare German Schüssel

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French ( > French écoutille), from Old Norse skaut ("corner of a cloth, of a sail"), akin to Gothic 𐍃𐌺𐌰𐌿𐍄𐍃 (skauts, "projecting edge, fringe"), German Schoß.

Examples

  • When the wash receded they followed it with an incredibly rapid twinkling of little legs; and when again the wave rushed, shoreward, _scuttle, scuttle, scuttle_ went they, keeping always just at the edge of the water.

    The Gray Dawn

  • The word scuttle has appeared in 70 New York Times articles in the past year, including on June 24 in "Fusion Experiment Faces New Hurdles," by John Upton:

    NYT > Home Page

  • Learn more about the word "scuttle" and see usage examples across a range of subjects on the Vocabulary.com dictionary.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Flannigan helped the captain scuttle the vessel by setting explosive charges.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • If he has ever seen the word scuttle it has been in the Jingo Press, where the "policy of scuttle" is used whenever we give up something to a small Power like Liberals, instead of giving up everything to a great Power, like Imperialists.

    Tremendous Trifles

  • It was curious how the humour of calling a scuttle

    Love and Mr Lewisham

  • It was curious how the humour of calling a scuttle "kettle" had evaporated.

    Love and Mr. Lewisham

  • The scuttle was the interesting point with him; and he saw that it was provided with a hasp and staple, so that the entrance could be secured by a padlock, though that was missing.

    Taken by the Enemy

  • Each of these episodes are played so broadly they kind of scuttle the ship in the other regard.

    Don't even think it

  • And I think when you kind of scuttle around and go, "Oh, that ` s too much for the American population to hear" ...

    CNN Transcript Sep 21, 2007

Comments

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  • a hatchway as in scuttlebutt

    January 9, 2009

  • coal or fireplace scuttle also called a coal hod

    February 6, 2008