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.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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.
Nor was his the case of the mere literary smatterer, content if he but learn the names of things.
At this explanation she shook her head, and observed that no smatterer could read as I had done.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
[Page 10] take, or more probably an insertion by a later smatterer of literary knowledge who inherited the manuscript.