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First attested in 1687. Origin uncertain, but possibly from Dutch schamperen, from Old French escamper, from Italian scampare (to run away).



scamper (plural scampers)

  1. A quick, light run.


scamper (third-person singular simple present scampers, present participle scampering, simple past and past participle scampered)

  1. (intransitive) To run quickly and lightly, especially in a playful or undignified manner.
    The dog scampered after the squirrel.
    • 2017 June 3, Daniel Taylor, “Real Madrid win Champions League as Cristiano Ronaldo double defeats Juv”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      Three minutes later, Luka Modric scampered down the right, clipped a cross to the near post and Ronaldo’s clipped finish gave the remainder of the match an air of inevitability.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 1
      The younger and lighter members of his tribe scampered to the higher branches of the great trees to escape his wrath; risking their lives upon branches that scarce supported their weight rather than face old Kerchak in one of his fits of uncontrolled anger.