Main definitions of scuttle in English

: scuttle1scuttle2scuttle3

scuttle1

noun

  • 1A metal container with a sloping hinged lid and a handle, used to fetch and store coal for a domestic fire.

    1. 1.1The amount of coal held in a scuttle.
      ‘carrying endless scuttles of coal up from the cellar’
      • ‘Half a scuttle of coal 2-3 times/day is required to keep the fire burning.’

Origin

Late Old English scutel dish, platter from Old Norse skutill, from Latin scutella dish.

Pronunciation:

scuttle

/ˈskədl/

Main definitions of scuttle in English

: scuttle1scuttle2scuttle3

scuttle2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Run hurriedly or furtively with short quick steps.

    ‘a mouse scuttled across the floor’
    • ‘The hedgehog scuttles off along the wall, until the dancing is only a distant noise and he unfolds back into a boy.’
    • ‘After barely a verse, a Brazilian news crew scuttles over, a gaggle of photographers in tow.’
    • ‘As I read on the couch, something scuttles across the floor and I look up from the pages.’
    • ‘Mrs Grier scuttles off, and Mr Grier hobbles over to the couch.’
    • ‘In one episode, a small, pinkish earwig-type creature scuttles across the floor, up a man's pants and into his mouth.’
    • ‘As a result, the insect scuttles around on automatic pilot.’
    • ‘The nurse eventually scuttles happily out of the curtains and disappears.’
    • ‘But then he arrives, smiles warmly, asks for a glass of wine and a moment to speak to his wife, and scuttles off.’
    • ‘A hedgehog scuttles out of the shrubs, it clicks across the road and I staccato-step behind it.’
    • ‘The window-dressers tut, relinquish their sparkling trolley, turn on their heels and scuttle back to safety.’
    • ‘In other contemporaneous drawings, the fish bodies seem to have morphed into billowing sails and scuttling deep-sea crustaceans.’
    • ‘She nods slowly and scuttles away, going from sitting next to me to between Brendon and a meditating Seleth, the four of us nestled in a shady corner.’
    • ‘Its little brown body scuttles across the floor, traveling like the cars outside of my window.’
    • ‘Sartre also, Marie-Denise Boros points out, was particularly fond of the crab, a creature which scuttles its way into everything from his philosophical texts to his plays.’
    • ‘Most of the immersion exists in the street and sewer scenes when cars and the noises of little rat feet scuttling shuffle from speaker to speaker, kind of.’
    • ‘I try to hug him, but he just drops to the floor and scuttles away, slamming the door shut again with his feet.’
    • ‘I open the rest of my presents and scuttle upstairs to put my pants away in my pants drawer.’
    • ‘Behind one of the cameras a lizard scuttles up the wall and disappears down the other side.’
    • ‘The man he sits on scuttles away, so timid to be sat on first thing in the morning.’
    • ‘Then, he would return the bowl and scuttle back to his lair.’
    • ‘A shiny, rust-colored beetle, only 1/8-inch long, scuttles across a kitchen countertop.’
    • ‘My absolute dream has always been to live and work in the same space - work downstairs then scuttle upstairs to a nest in the rafters.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, rows of new swiveling, scuttling ergonomic chairs line the walls.’
    scamper, scurry, scramble, bustle, skip, trot, hurry, hasten, make haste, rush, race, dash, run, sprint
    scutter
    scoot, beetle
    View synonyms

noun

  • [in singular] An act or sound of scuttling.

    ‘I heard the scuttle of rats across the room’
    • ‘Earlier in the day, I visited Little Water Cay, where I could hear the scuttle of endangered rock iguanas mixing with the waves.’
    scamper, scampering noise, scurry, scurrying
    bustle, bustling, trot, hurry, haste, rush, race, dash, run, sprint
    rustle, rasp, scratching noise
    scutter, scuttering
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century: compare with dialect scuddle, frequentative of scud.

Pronunciation:

scuttle

/ˈskədl/

Main definitions of scuttle in English

: scuttle1scuttle2scuttle3

scuttle3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Sink (one's own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in.

    • ‘The gallant heroism of both the British Navy and the German Captain Langsdorff, who scuttles his own ship rather than face defeat, strongly appealed to Powell and Pressburger.’
    • ‘A Soviet sub carrying rotten caviar and toxic waste cabbage broth is scuttled and the oozing brew burbles into the depths of the ocean.’
    1. 1.1Deliberately cause (a scheme) to fail.
      ‘some of the stockholders are threatening to scuttle the deal’
      • ‘Wood Island could be anywhere in America, and it's this lack of a concrete focus that finally scuttles the story being told.’
      • ‘The Babysitters Club would have been a first-rate film had they simply scuttled the stupid story points and let the characters interact and speak to each other.’
      • ‘Yet he constantly scuttles any optimism that the nightmare is possibly manageable.’
      • ‘This film's release to DVD is unwarranted, and it should be scuttled and returned to the hidden film vault beneath the Nevada salt mines.’
      • ‘As such, she doesn't get out much, since her few attempts at dating are scuttled by the conspicuous presence of her bodyguards.’
      • ‘But I also have to face the facts: sometimes a good concept can be hopelessly scuttled by budgetary limitations.’
      • ‘Kunuk comes off as a sentimentalist, scuttling his attempts to inflate his story into something bigger, leaving remains that feel as psychologically uncomplicated as the similarly themed The Lion King.’
      • ‘There is little doubt that his Nazi ties scuttled his career while he was alive and sullied his reputation after his death.’
      • ‘Too often the music's lyricism is scuttled by his bumpy legato, its tremendous strength is held in check, and the soundstage turns powerful phrases into key-pounding exercises.’
      • ‘Trent Lott, R-Miss., suggested that there could be repercussions for the industry, always well-protected by Congress, if it succeeded in scuttling the agreement.’
      • ‘On the other, the book makes no concession to ways in which authorial intent might be shaped or scuttled by external factors.’
      • ‘He was an outspoken critic of the show when it began, mostly because it scuttled his own plans for a Galactica reboot that would pick up where the 1978 version left off.’
      • ‘Golub was an odd man out, one of those who kept alive certain ambitions scuttled by the artists who followed Abstract Expressionism.’

noun

  • An opening with a lid in a ship's deck or side.

Origin

Late 15th century (as a noun): perhaps from Old French escoutille, from the Spanish diminutive escotilla hatchway The verb dates from the mid 17th century.

Pronunciation:

scuttle

/ˈskədl/