scramble Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “scramble” in the English Dictionary

"scramble" in British English

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scrambleverb

uk   us   /ˈskræm.bl̩/
  • scramble verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

C2 [I usually + adv/prep] to ​move or ​climbquickly but with ​difficulty, often using ​yourhands to ​help you: She scrambled up the ​steephillside and over the ​rocks. He scrambled into his ​clothes (= put them on ​quickly) and ​raced to get ​help. As the ​burningplanelanded, the ​terrifiedpassengers scrambled for the ​door (= ​tried to ​reach the ​doorquickly). [I] to ​compete with other ​people for something there is very little of: [+ to infinitive] People are scrambling tobuyproperty before ​pricesriseevenfurther.

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  • scramble verb (MIX)

(also scramble up) [T] to put things such as words or ​letters in the ​wrongorder so that they do not make ​sense: He had a ​habit of scrambling his words when ​excited. [T] to ​mixeggs with a little ​milk and ​mix again as they are being ​fried
  • scramble verb (CHANGE SIGNAL)

[T] to ​change a ​radio or ​phonesignal so that it can only be ​understood using a ​specialdevice
  • scramble verb (TAKE OFF)

[I or T] specialized military to (​cause a ​plane to) take off very ​quickly: A ​helicopter was scrambled within ​minutes of the ​news.

scramblenoun

uk   us   /ˈskræm.bl̩/
  • scramble noun (CLIMBING)

[S] a ​climb that is ​difficult so that you have to use ​yourhands to ​help you: It was areal scramble to the ​top of the ​hillside.
  • scramble noun (FOOD)

[C] US a ​dish of ​eggs and other ​foods such as ​potatoes that are ​mixed as they are being ​fried: a ​Mexican scramble (= ​eggs with ​hotpeppers, etc.) a potato-sausage scramble
(Definition of scramble from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"scramble" in American English

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scrambleverb

 us   /ˈskræm·bəl/
  • scramble verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

[I] to move or ​climbquickly but with ​difficulty, often using the ​hands: She scrambled to ​safety away from the ​fighting. [+ to infinitive] fig. Poultry farmers scrambled (= ​worked hard and ​fast) to ​providewater to ​theirflocks as ​pipesburst in Georgia’s ​coldestweather this ​century.
  • scramble verb (MIX EGGS)

[T] to ​mix together and ​cook the ​transparent and ​yellowparts of ​eggs: We had ​bacon and scrambled ​eggs for ​breakfast.
  • scramble verb (CHANGE SIGNAL)

[T] to ​change a ​radio or ​telephonesignal while it is being ​sent so that it cannot be ​understood without a ​specialdevice

scramblenoun [U]

 us   /ˈskræm·bəl/
  • scramble noun [U] (ACT OF HURRYING )

an ​act of ​moving or ​climbingquickly: fig. There was a ​mad scramble (= many ​peoplemoving at ​once) for the ​bestseats in the ​theater.
(Definition of scramble from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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