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See also: Clutter


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From Middle English cloteren (to form clots; coagulate; heap on), from clot (clot), equivalent to clot +‎ -er (frequentative suffix). Compare Welsh cludair (heap, pile), cludeirio (to heap).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈklʌtə(ɹ)/
    • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈklʌtɚ/, [ˈklʌɾɚ]
  • Rhymes: -ʌtə(ɹ)


clutter (countable and uncountable, plural clutters)

  1. (uncountable) A confused disordered jumble of things.
  2. (uncountable) Background echoes, from clouds etc., on a radar or sonar screen.
  3. (countable) Alternative form of clowder (collective noun for cats).
    • 2008, John Robert Colombo, The Big Book of Canadian Ghost Stories, Introduction:
      Organizing ghost stories is like herding a clutter of cats: the phenomenon resists organization and classification.
  4. (obsolete) Clatter; confused noise.
    • October 14 1718, John Arbuthnot, letter to Jonathan Swift
      I hardly heard a word of news or politicks, except a little clutter about sending some impertinent presidents du parliament to prison
    • 1835, William Cobbett, John Morgan Cobbett, James Paul Cobbett, Selections from Cobbett's political works, volume 1, page 33:
      It was then you might have heard a clutter: pots, pans and pitchers, mugs, jugs and jordens, all put themselves in motion at once []
  5. (mathematics) A Sperner system.

Derived terms[edit]



clutter (third-person singular simple present clutters, present participle cluttering, simple past and past participle cluttered)

  1. To fill something with clutter.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      That means about $165 billion was spent not on drumming up business, but on annoying people, creating landfill and cluttering spam filters.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To clot or coagulate, like blood.
  3. To make a confused noise; to bustle.
    • 1832, Alfred Tennyson, “The Goose”, in Poems. [], volume I, London: Edward Moxon, [], published 1842, →OCLC, stanza VII, page 231:
      It [the goose] clutter'd here, it chuckled there; / It stirr'd the old wife's mettle: / She shifted in her elbow-chair, / And hurl'd the pan and kettle.
  4. To utter words hurriedly, especially (but not exclusively) as a speech disorder (compare cluttering).

Derived terms[edit]