Definition of clutter in English:



[with object]
  • Cover or fill (something) with an untidy collection of things.

    ‘the room was cluttered with his bric-a-brac’
    • ‘The trailer was cluttered with the mess of three guys trapped in a small space for a week.’
    • ‘Our lives are already cluttered and I don't think we need to add to it.’
    • ‘So if you have a bunch of DVDs cluttering your living room, we have got some help for you.’
    • ‘A lot of information is needlessly cluttering your mind.’
    • ‘Filling our houses with things that we don't need clutters our homes and is putting a severe strain on natural resources.’
    • ‘The paint was peeling, many of the rooms were cluttered with junk and the whole place looked sorry for itself.’
    • ‘The predominant new typeface is very old fashioned and the pages are cluttered.’
    • ‘I couldn't shift at all, my muscles were too tense and my mind too cluttered.’
    • ‘The bedside table was so cluttered with objects that you couldn't even see the surface.’
    • ‘And anyway, these protesters shouldn't be allowed to clutter up the pavements.’
    • ‘The place is cluttered with junk and heaving with boisterous children.’
    • ‘Why bother cluttering my mind with silly questions like that?’
    • ‘Behind a large oak desk cluttered with papers stands a cabinet whose door is ajar.’
    • ‘The action is set in a dingy, cluttered bedsit, and the cramped space at first seems ideal.’
    • ‘Remove some of the furniture if you think it's going to clutter up space.’
    • ‘Now is the time to sift through those cluttered cupboards and clean up your act.’
    • ‘Our streets are too cluttered with unnecessary rubbish, be it signage, bollards or railings.’
    • ‘She pushed open the door and found the room even more cluttered then ever.’
    • ‘It is also a great opportunity to donate items that have been cluttering your house to a worthwhile cause.’
    • ‘There were also always lots of bicycles cluttering the hall.’
    litter, make untidy, make a mess of, mess up, throw into disorder, disarrange, jumble
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mass noun
  • 1A collection of things lying about in an untidy state.

    ‘the attic is full of clutter’
    • ‘As I sat there, a dormouse scuttled right out from under my boots: I'd disturbed its lunch, and there was a clutter of precision-punctured hazelnut shells among the leaf litter.’
    • ‘I began by clearing some clutter left by the previous owner, an old lady who had apparently attempted some failed yard projects, and decided to leave them as souvenirs to me.’
    • ‘There is increasing awareness of what this visual clutter - the complete space it occupies and the frenetic pace it dictates - is doing to our lives and our sensibilities.’
    • ‘Experts on dreams say that your dreams and visions are your mind's way of cleaning out the clutter in your brain.’
    • ‘Sitting in her house full of the toys and clutter of three boisterous children, a mother shakes her head wearily.’
    • ‘I don't suppose I'll use the extra space much other than simply collect twice as much clutter as before.’
    • ‘Metallic clutter in the ground will slow down a detection mission because all metallic objects must be investigated.’
    • ‘We also found general clutter and miscellaneous obstructions, including cooling lines laid across the floors.’
    • ‘The interior of the home was cool, despite the clutter littering the floor, table, chair, etc.’
    • ‘She groaned as she looked for her hair brush in the clutter on her floor.’
    • ‘Her bedroom was full of clothes and other clutter, something which is very unlike my gran.’
    • ‘It is amusing to see that pedestrians would rather make a long detour to avoid the clutter than straighten up the mess.’
    • ‘Whatever happened to the council's aim to free us of street clutter?’
    • ‘He waved his hands at the clutter on his desk.’
    • ‘Overall, the house is much less full of clutter.’
    • ‘Set within a trendy facility, the interior boasts modern furnishings and minimalist, stylish furniture - absolutely no clutter.’
    • ‘I decided to clear more clutter from the side of my desk nearest the wall.’
    • ‘Dupont was searching for something hidden in the clutter on his desk and looked up from his nest.’
    • ‘‘It's a great way of offloading all the clutter from your mind,’ she said.’
    • ‘I spotted the glint of the knife amongst the clutter.’
    • ‘You want to access two PCs, but don't want to duplicate the mess and clutter of another monitor, mouse and keyboard.’
    • ‘For one thing, it does add some internal clutter to the system, already full of cables, wires and brackets.’
    1. 1.1in singular An untidy state.
      ‘the room was in a clutter of smelly untidiness’
      • ‘The good news is that it is possible, with some training, for politicians to master the communications skills with which they can cut through the clutter.’
      • ‘The moving display system, the department hopes, will stand out amid the clutter of promotionals that swamp the cityscape.’
      • ‘The prosecutions form part of the council's campaign to improve road safety and reduce street clutter.’
      • ‘In the recent past, various campaign groups, celebrity commentators and the media have raised protests against the clutter and chaos of England's streets.’
      • ‘The tale is muddled in its telling, with a clutter of secondary characters.’
      • ‘Avoid too much clutter and only add objects that are useful, not merely decorative.’
      • ‘They have their hands full as confused vehicle users move circuitously in the connecting roads and amid the clutter of material on the main roads.’
      • ‘The place will probably be a disordered clutter by the time this is over.’
      • ‘Gill revels in the chaos of roadworks, the clutter of abandoned lots and the forgotten spaces between buildings.’
      • ‘Much as I hate to admit it, I actually miss the noise and the chaos and the clutter.’
      • ‘It seems likely that our memories are getting worse, as the clutter of data and information that we try to deal with every day increases.’
      • ‘Pedestrian safety and visual clutter are just two of the issues that have been raised by residents.’
      • ‘The elegant simplicity of the earlier posters, billboards and photographs as singular statements triumphs over the clutter of the installations.’
      • ‘The report also says that there is less visual clutter from the cables than previously.’
      • ‘I keyed into the clutter and the chaos, taking a more abstract expressionist approach, filling the frame with lots of junk while trying to maintain some order.’
      • ‘Why do we do accumulate, hoard and keep our homes and offices in messy, untidy, disorganized clutter?’
      • ‘I choose to live in a city, and the clutter is the benefit, not the cost.’
      • ‘One letter was particularly poignant for Radcliffe in the clutter of condemnation, self-analysis and doubt that accompanied her return from Athens.’
      • ‘Too many contrasting building materials in the small space allotted to most front gardens results in confusion and clutter.’
      • ‘I pretend to myself that I want the place spotless and ordered, and sometimes I even achieve that state, and it falls back into comfortable clutter within an hour or day or two.’
      mess, jumble, litter, heap, tangle, welter, muddle, hotchpotch, hodgepodge, mishmash, farrago, confusion, medley
      disorder, chaos, disarray, untidiness, mess, muddle, confusion, disorderliness
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: variant of dialect clotter ‘to clot’, influenced by cluster and clatter.