Definition of scamper in English:



  • (especially of a small animal or child) run with quick light steps, especially through fear or excitement.

    ‘he scampered in like an overgrown puppy’
    • ‘Children scampered off the yellow school bus and into the playground.’
    • ‘He turned to see several younger children scamper off.’
    • ‘The youth was standing at his workplace, admiring the finished product in the light when the boy came scampering up to him.’
    • ‘However, much to the man's surprise, the devilish animal scampered away just as the dog had done.’
    • ‘The pathetic servant boy came scampering back in the room in a few moments, meekly holding up a clipboard of papers and a pen.’
    • ‘The men hadn't even stopped for a second to turn around and to see the small child scampering away after them.’
    • ‘Every time a ball was hit out of the court, a group of children scampered towards it.’
    • ‘I pity the children scampering about the Great American Southwest who do not have a compound for protection.’
    • ‘I had decided to leave when the tortoiseshell kitten scampered in from the yard.’
    • ‘All around us, elephants were scampering in all directions raising a lot of dust metres high.’
    • ‘A kestrel commanded the long valley views, rabbits scampered unconcerned.’
    • ‘When they got to the corner, she darted ahead and scampered up the copper beech.’
    • ‘The animal wasted no time scampering back into the safety of its forest home but Ryan had no intention of letting it go so easily.’
    • ‘He slid the door open and watched as the cat scampered out to sit between posts and watch the birds hungrily.’
    • ‘It's a lovely, peaceful town where monkeys scamper along the sides of the roads and people take horseback rides along an attractive black-sand beach.’
    • ‘The cat scampered along the side of the ditch, its coat shiny black from the morning rain.’
    • ‘The children scampered in all directions, shrieking and squealing, arms pumping with excitement.’
    • ‘Brooke scrambled back out of reach of Meghan, scampering back towards the middle of the sidewalk.’
    • ‘The roads were unpaved and dirty, and filled with hungry, undernourished children scampering around half-naked.’
    • ‘Sure, there were film songs sung with verve, dances and a skit, and games for children scampering around.’
    scurry, scuttle, dart, run, rush, dash, race, sprint, hurry, hasten, make haste
    romp, frolic, gambol
    scoot, beetle
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  • [in singular] An act of scampering.

    ‘he heard the squeak and scamper of rats’
    • ‘This is inevitably something of a scamper through too many countries and histories; everywhere, it seemed, feminism tended to go through a moderate earlier phase and later a more revolutionary phase.’
    • ‘That crucial distance from cooker to sink to fridge is pretty much one stride length for us but a bit of a scamper for anyone under five foot five.’
    • ‘Fiscus scored the lone Karns City touchdown in the second quarter on an eight yard scamper.’
    • ‘A death-defying scamper across the street brings us to Loretta, the best wig fitter in town, who works at Cosmetic World.’
    • ‘Then, with a raspy scamper, a team of grey squirrels descended on our picnic table to clear crumbs faster than any vacuum cleaner.’
    • ‘The boy and the dog relish the scamper, but the pedlar fingers his rosary to ward off the threat of a drenching.’
    • ‘The dim, yellow light each one was shedding cast shadows off the crates and barrels carelessly piled along the length of the alley, and occasionally a squeak and a scamper echoed throughout the area.’
    • ‘But I guess my scamper is good because he's flashing off that cute little smile of his and doing that adorable little head shake of his.’
    • ‘The girl rose and made a scamper for the lovely woman, but a stray leg was purposely put out and quickly the girl was sent to her knees, toppling forward to land ungracefully upon her chin.’
    • ‘I set out at a full-tilt scamper, leaping over the tops of pedestrians and passing cars in search of a victim for my rustling.’
    • ‘There was a quick scamper of feet from the children as everyone bundled into the hallway.’
    • ‘I should have liked to rouse them for a minute, to coax them into a game or a scamper; but the longer I looked into their fixed and weary eyes the more preposterous the idea became.’
    dash, rush, run, bolt, break, charge, race, sprint, bound, spring, leap, jump, lunge, pounce, dive, swoop, gallop, scurry, scamper, stampede, scramble, start, flight
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Late 17th century (in the sense ‘run away’): probably from scamp.