scatter

[ skat-er ]
/ ˈskæt ər /

verb (used with object)

to throw loosely about; distribute at irregular intervals: to scatter seeds.
to separate and drive off in various directions; disperse: to scatter a crowd.
Physics.
  1. to refract or diffract (light or other electromagnetic radiation) irregularly so as to diffuse in many directions.
  2. (of a medium) to diffuse or deflect (light or other wave phenomena) by collisions between the wave and particles of the medium.

verb (used without object)

to separate and disperse; go in different directions.

noun

the act of scattering.
something that is scattered.

Origin of scatter

1125–75; Middle English scatere; compare Dutch schateren to burst out laughing

SYNONYMS FOR scatter

2 Scatter, dispel, disperse, dissipate imply separating and driving something away so that its original form disappears. To scatter is to separate something tangible into parts at random, and drive these in different directions: The wind scattered leaves all over the lawn. To dispel is to drive away or scatter usually intangible things so that they vanish or cease to exist: Photographs of the race dispelled all doubts as to which horse won. To disperse is usually to cause a compact or organized tangible body to separate or scatter in different directions, to be reassembled if desired: Tear gas dispersed the mob. To dissipate is usually to scatter by dissolving or reducing to small atoms or parts that cannot be brought together again: He dissipated his money and his energy in useless activities.

OTHER WORDS FROM scatter

scat·ter·a·ble, adjectivescat·ter·er, nounscat·ter·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scatter

British Dictionary definitions for scatter

scatter
/ (ˈskætə) /

verb

(tr) to throw about in various directions; strew
to separate and move or cause to separate and move in various directions; disperse
to deviate or cause to deviate in many directions, as in the diffuse reflection or refraction of light

noun

the act of scattering
a substance or a number of objects scattered about

Derived forms of scatter

scatterable, adjectivescatterer, noun

Word Origin for scatter

C13: probably a variant of shatter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for scatter

scatter
[ skătər ]

v.

To cause to separate and go in different directions.
To separate and go in different directions; disperse.
To deflect radiation or particles.

n.

The act of scattering or the condition of being scattered.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.