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Meaning of “scramble” in the English Dictionary

"scramble" in British English

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scrambleverb

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

C2 [I usually + adv/prep] to move or climb quickly but with difficulty, often using your hands to help you: She scrambled up the steep hillside and over the rocks. He scrambled into his clothes (= put them on quickly) and raced to get help. As the burning plane landed, the terrified passengers scrambled for the door (= tried to reach the door quickly).
[I] to compete with other people for something there is very little of: [+ to infinitive] People are scrambling to buy property before prices rise even further.

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  • scramble verb (MIX)

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

[T] to change a radio or phone signal so that it can only be understood using a special device

scramblenoun

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

[S] a climb that is difficult so that you have to use your hands to help you: It was a real scramble to the top of the hillside.
(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 climb quickly 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 provide water to their flocks as pipes burst in Georgia’s coldest weather this century.
  • scramble verb (MIX EGGS)

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

[T] to change a radio or telephone signal while it is being sent so that it cannot be understood without a special device

scramblenoun [U]

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

an act of moving or climbing quickly: fig. There was a mad scramble (= many people moving at once) for the best seats in the theater.
(Definition of scramble from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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