from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Superficial or piecemeal knowledge: "a smattering of everything, and a knowledge of nothing” ( Charles Dickens).
- n. A small, scattered amount or number: a smattering of raindrops.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A superficial or shallow knowledge of a subject.
- n. A small number or amount of something.
- v. Present participle of smatter.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A slight, superficial knowledge of something; sciolism.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A slight or superficial knowledge: as, to have a smattering of Latin or Greek.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a small number or amount
- n. a slight or superficial understanding of a subject
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"A smattering," is how Barry described the warm reception.
Gayatri proved to be an able companion through the years -- even picking up Tamil (Prahalad could speak a smattering of Gujarati).
I used to be semi-fluent in Japanese and I could speak a smattering of Mandarin enough to order in a restaurant and get on and off the bus in the right spots.
As an international businessman, I speak a smattering of languages, including Arabic.
Indians -- who could speak a smattering of English -- that he might be bound and remain, or accompany them to see the Big Knife tortured.
The majority of them, however, were content with what I have just called a smattering of education.
Like many Arabs, he can speak a smattering, and a very fair one, of three or four languages, but he can't write a line in any one of them.
But the absence of the smattering is a much more dangerous and fatal thing if the man wishes to do business with the Argentine and the Transvaal, or to enter into practical relations of any sort with anybody outside his own parish.
Thanks to my Nyonya maternal grandmother, I speak a smattering of Malay.
They have learnt from long experience that the Brits are not always natural linguists, and so to speak a smattering of our language is a shrewd move on their part.