Definition of smattering in English:


Line breaks: smat¦ter|ing
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.

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