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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for scamble in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


scamble (third-person singular simple present scambles, present participle scambling, simple past and past participle scambled)

  1. (intransitive) To move awkwardly; to be shuffling, irregular, or unsteady; to sprawl; to shamble.
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Book II, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 61:
      "Or if you will say, that there may some scambling shift be made without them [] "
  2. (intransitive) To move about pushing and jostling; to be rude and turbulent; to scramble; struggle for place or possession.
    • 1596, Shakespeare, King John, act IV scene III
      How easy dost thou take all England up!
      From forth this morsel of dead royalty,
      The life, the right and truth of all this realm
      Is fled to heaven; and England now is left
      To tug and scamble and to part by the teeth
      The unowed interest of proud-swelling state.
  3. (transitive) To mangle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mortimer to this entry?)
  4. (transitive) To squander.