v. smat·tered, smat·ter·ing, smat·ters
1. To speak (a language) without fluency: smatters Russian.
2. To study or approach superficially; dabble in.
To prattle: smattered on about her vacation.
[Middle English smateren, to make dirty, speak foolishly, chatter.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.