from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move or climb hurriedly, especially on the hands and knees.
  • intransitive verb To struggle or contend frantically in order to get something.
  • intransitive verb To take off with all possible haste, as to intercept enemy aircraft.
  • intransitive verb To run around with the ball behind the line of scrimmage in order to avoid being tackled while searching for an open receiver.
  • intransitive verb To run forward with the ball when unable to complete an intended pass play. Used of a quarterback.
  • intransitive verb Linguistics To move to another position in a syntactic structure, as for emphasis. Used of phrases or other syntactic constituents.
  • intransitive verb To mix or throw together haphazardly.
  • intransitive verb To gather together in a hurried or disorderly fashion.
  • intransitive verb To cook (beaten eggs) until firm but with a soft consistency.
  • intransitive verb Electronics To distort or garble (a signal) so as to render it unintelligible without a special receiver.
  • intransitive verb To cause (aircraft) to take off as fast as possible, as to intercept enemy aircraft.
  • noun The act or an instance of scrambling.
  • noun An arduous hike or climb over rough terrain.
  • noun A struggle for something.
  • noun A swift takeoff of military aircraft in response to an alert or attack.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To struggle or wriggle along as if on all fours; move on with difficulty or in a floundering manner, as by seizing objects with the hand and drawing the body forward: as, to scramble up a cliff; to scramble on in the world.
  • To struggle rudely or in a jostling manner with others for the purpose of grasping or getting something; strive eagerly, rudely, and without ceremony for or as if for something thrown on the ground: as, to scramble for pennies; to scramble for a living; to scramble for office.
  • To stir or toss together in a random fashion; mix and cook in a confused mass.
  • To throw down to be scrambled or struggled for: as, to scramble nuts.
  • To advance or push in a scrambling way.
  • In botany, to run or climb in all directions, especially over other plants. See scrambler, 2.
  • noun A walk or ramble in which there is clambering and struggling with obstacles.
  • noun An eager, rude contest or struggle for the possession of something offered or desired; an unceremonious jostling or pushing for the possession of something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To collect by scrambling.
  • transitive verb To prepare (eggs) as a dish for the table, by stirring the yolks and whites together while cooking.
  • intransitive verb To clamber with hands and knees; to scrabble.
  • intransitive verb To struggle eagerly with others for something thrown upon the ground; to go down upon all fours to seize something; to catch rudely at what is desired.
  • noun The act of scrambling, climbing on all fours, or clambering.
  • noun The act of jostling and pushing for something desired; eager and unceremonious struggle for what is thrown or held out.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • interjection UK shouted when something desirable is thrown into a group of people who individually want that item.
  • verb intransitive To move hurriedly to a location, especially by using all limbs against a surface.
  • verb intransitive To proceed to a location or an objective in a disorderly manner.
  • verb transitive To thoroughly combine and cook as a loose mass.
  • verb transitive To process (telecommunication signals) to make them unintelligible to an unauthorized listener.
  • verb transitive, military To quickly enter (vehicles, usually aircraft) and proceed to a destination in response to an alert, usually to intercept an attacking enemy.
  • verb intransitive, sports To partake in motocross.
  • verb intransitive To ascend rocky terrain as a leisure activity.
  • noun A rush or hurry
  • noun military An emergency defensive air force mission to intercept attacking enemy aircraft.
  • noun A motocross race
  • noun Any frantic period of activity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb bring into random order
  • noun an unceremonious and disorganized struggle
  • verb to move hurriedly
  • verb stir vigorously
  • verb make unintelligible
  • verb climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
  • noun rushing about hastily in an undignified way


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps blend of obsolete scamble, to struggle for, and dialectal cramble, to crawl.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin uncertain. Compare earlier dialectal scramb ("pull with hands").


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