View synonyms for scattering


[ skat-er-ing ]


  1. distributed or occurring here and there at irregular intervals; scattered. scattered.
  2. straggling, as an assemblage of parts.
  3. (of votes) cast in small numbers for various candidates.
  4. distributing, dispersing, or separating.


  1. a small, scattered scattered number or quantity.
  2. Physics. the process in which a wave or beam of particles is diffused or deflected by collisions with particles of the medium that it traverses.


/ ˈskætərɪŋ /


  1. a small amount
  2. physics the process in which particles, atoms, etc, are deflected as a result of collision


/ skătər-ĭng /

  1. The spreading of a stream of particles or a beam of rays, as of light, over a range of directions as a result of collisions with other particles. The sky appears blue due to the tendency of air molecules to scatter blue and violet light more than light of other frequencies. The scattering probabilities and patterns of subatomic particles, accelerated by particle accelerators and aimed at a target, is a major component of experimental particle physics.
  2. See also diffusion

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Word History and Origins

Origin of scattering1

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; scatter, -ing 2, -ing 1
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Example Sentences

Then, the team decreased the temperature to make the atoms fill up the lowest energy states, suppressing the scattering of light.

You have to modify your entire body to minimize any scattering or reflection of light.

In the sum of all possible interactions that could happen during a particle scattering event, the mathematical term representing each interaction splits into two parts, much as the number 6 splits into 2 × 3.

She said she is making plans for friends to participate in the scattering of her daughter’s ashes.

He led me inside, into a hall with a scattering of young people, all of whom cheered as soon as they saw him.

Scattering the truly disadvantaged was much easier when so many were flood-displaced.

Scattering wooden villages, each a line of hovels, appeared at long intervals.

Scattering in various directions we ragged about until tea-time.

Scattering down side streets, alley-ways, behind lumber-piles, everywhere—anywhere.

Scattering with wild cries of fear, they could be seen running for their lives toward the wood.

Scattering shots are heard all along and around our line—the trumpets of the cavalry ring out "To arms!"





scatter-gunscattering layer