• WordNet 3.6
    • n smattering a slight or superficial understanding of a subject
    • n smattering a small number or amount "only a handful of responses were received"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Smattering A slight, superficial knowledge of something; sciolism. "I had a great desire, not able to attain to a superficial skill in any, to have some smattering in all."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n smattering A slight or superficial knowledge: as, to have a smattering of Latin or Greek.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Smattering a superficial knowledge
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. smateren, to rattle, to chatter—Sw. smattra, to clatter; Ger. schnattern.


In literature:

I've got only smatterings.
"The Clarion" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
I learned my letters from my mother, and picked up a few other smatterings before I had daily lessons from a tutor at Dingle.
"The Reminiscences of an Irish Land Agent" by S.M. Hussey
It would take him a year to learn the first smatterings of their tongue.
"Burned Bridges" by Bertrand W. Sinclair
He spoke French tolerably, but otherwise no other language, though he had a smattering of Italian and Czech.
"In the World War" by Count Ottokar Czernin
Brown mumbled something about having picked up a smattering.
"Police!!!" by Robert W. Chambers
A little education is all they want, a little smattering of books, and then they are ready for business.
"Architects of Fate" by Orison Swett Marden
They learn languages, not smatterings of them.
"Face to Face with Kaiserism" by James W. Gerard
Much time is devoted by them to theological studies and some smattering of geography and history.
"Across Coveted Lands" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
He had a smattering of all tongues, being foreign born.
"The Lure of the Mask" by Harold MacGrath
Alcides had a smattering of botany, which was a great danger to the company.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

In news:

Ronnie had cotton colored hair and a face that, like mine, was smattered with freckles.
Here's just a small smattering of feedback we've received on the process of booking rooms at the hotel we chose out in California.
Arizona, ranked No 22 in the AP poll last week, still received a smattering of votes on this week's ballots following a 49-0 loss at Oregon.
Summer has crept up on New Jersey, and with the hot, humid days came a smattering of thunderstorms that dotted the Garden State in the past two weeks.
Los Angeles band Hands played to a smattering of people who either did not know who they were or did not care.
Some of these titles have just a smattering of Spanish words, while others are fully bilingual .
A smattering of the colorful, office-appropriate options that arrived in the author's Cakestyle box.
A smattering of snowy owls from the tundra of northern Canada have been spotted recently around Duluth -Superior, according to birding experts.
A smattering of major banks stayed open for business on Presidents' Day.
I had only a smattering of English when I started school.
It's one thing to get actresses and a healthy smattering of celebrities.
A smattering of Eurorack modules patched together.
We may share a language, but that doesn't mean we understand British lingo: Here's a smattering of British delicacies and their American-English definitions.
Despite a smattering of torrential downpour in the middle of the day, the US Open churned through its schedule largely without incident.
The Kyle Tait Show is a fine slice of American sports talk radio in Jackson, MS Every Monday thru Friday from 4-6 PM, let Kyle and the gang over at SuperSport 930 tickle your fancy with a wide smattering of sports babble.

In science:

If so, one should be able to show that, for any processes involving matter and black holes, we must have d(SBH + Smatter )/dt ≥ 0 which goes under the name generalized second law (GSL).
Thermodynamical Aspects of Gravity: New insights
Smatter/δg ab = −δHmatter /δg ab to obtain derivatives of the Hamiltonian.3 As the final step in relating these different forms of energy-momentum components, we switch from tµ to the normal.
Quantum matter in quantum space-time
To arrive at expressions for δSmatter [φ, g ]/δg (t, x) in terms of δHmatter [φ, p, g ]/δg (x) thus requires use of the functional chain rule when considering Hmatter [p[φ, g ], φ, g ]; it is immediate to see that its use neatly cancels derivatives of pI [φ, g ] ˙φI , leaving only −δHmatter [p, φ, g ]/δg (x).
Quantum matter in quantum space-time
Stot [g , ψ , A, H ] = Sgravitation [g ] + Smatter [ψ , A, H, g ].
General relativity and experiment
The total initial entropy is the sum of the matter entropy, Smatter , and the horizon entropy, Eq. (3.3).
Adventures in de Sitter space