Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: MILITARY

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: Perhaps from scrabble

scramble

1 verb
     
scram‧ble1
1

climb

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to climb up, down, or over something quickly and with difficulty, especially using your hands to help you
scramble up/down/over etc
They tried to scramble up the cliff.
She scrambled down the tree as quickly as she could.
2

move quickly

[ intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move somewhere in a hurried awkward way
scramble to/out/from etc
Alan scrambled out of the way.
Micky scrambled to his feet (=stood up very quickly and awkwardly) and hurried into the kitchen.
3

do something quickly

[transitive] to try to do something difficult very quickly
scramble to do something
They were scrambling to give the impression that the situation was in control.
4

compete

[intransitive] to struggle or compete with other people to get or reach something
scramble for
Thousands of people will be scrambling for tickets.
5

information/message

[transitive]TCTD to use special equipment to mix messages, radio signals etc into a different form, so that they cannot be understood by other people without the correct equipment:
Our conversation will be electronically scrambled.
6

mix

[transitive] to mix words, ideas, sentences etc so that they are not in the right order and do not make sense:
The words in each sentence are scrambled.
7

scramble an egg

DFC to cook an egg by mixing the white and yellow parts together and heating it in a pan
8

scramble somebody's brains

informal to make someone unable to think clearly or reasonably:
Maybe the alcohol has scrambled his brains.
9

aircraft

[intransitive]PM if a military plane scrambles, it goes up into the air very quickly in order to escape or to attack an enemy
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