Definition of smattering in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsmatərɪŋ/
(also smatter)


1A slight superficial knowledge of a language or subject: Edward had only a smattering of Welsh
More example sentences
  • The entire trip, spanning a period of 118 days, enabled the couple to pick up a smattering of local languages wherever they went.
  • That our small group seemed to be the only foreigners - with barely a smattering of the language between us - in a sea of Russians mattered not at all.
  • With an aptitude for languages and a smattering of Italian, she'd chatter away to people, gradually getting the hang of the Liguarian dialect.
1.1A small amount of something: a smattering of snow
More example sentences
  • The songs are very reminiscent in parts of early Floyd, with smatterings of elements of Echoes and Animals thrown in for good measure.
  • The clientele are older and wealthy with a few smatterings of known faces.
  • It was fairly empty, with smatterings of people milling around.
bit, small amount, little, modicum, touch, soupçon;
superficial knowledge, nodding acquaintance, passing acquaintance, rudiments, elements, basics
informal smidgen, smidge, tad


Mid 16th century: from smatter 'talk ignorantly, prate' (surviving in Scots), of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with smattering


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: smat¦ter|ing

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.