Definition of “scramble” - English Dictionary

“scramble” in English

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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.

More examples

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


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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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)