Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

scatter

play
verb scat·ter \ˈska-tər\

Simple Definition of scatter

  • : to cause (things or people) to separate and go in different directions

  • : to separate and go in different directions

  • : to place or leave (things) in different places

Full Definition of scatter

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to cause to separate widelyb :  to cause to vanish

  3. 2 archaic :  to fling away heedlessly :  squander

  4. 3 :  to distribute irregularly

  5. 4 :  to sow by casting in all directions :  strew

  6. 5a :  to reflect irregularly and diffuselyb :  to cause (a beam of radiation) to diffuse or disperse

  7. 6 :  to divide into ineffectual small portions

  8. intransitive verb
  9. 1 :  to separate and go in various directions :  disperse

  10. 2 :  to occur or fall irregularly or at random

scat·ter·er play \-tər-ər\ noun

Examples of scatter

  1. The wind scattered the pile of leaves.

  2. The marbles scattered across the floor.

  3. She scattered the books on the table.

  4. He scatters his toys all around the house.



Origin of scatter

Middle English scateren, schateren to disperse, break up, destroy; akin to Middle Dutch schaderen to scatter


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of scatter

scatter, disperse, dissipate, dispel mean to cause to separate or break up. scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions <the bowling ball scattered the pins>. disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group <police dispersed the crowd>. dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance <the fog was dissipated by the morning sun>. dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering <an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt>.

2

scatter

noun scat·ter

Simple Definition of scatter

  • : a small number or group of things placed or found apart from each other

Full Definition of scatter

  1. 1 :  the act of scattering

  2. 2 :  a small quantity or number irregularly distributed or strewn about :  scattering

  3. 3 :  the state or extent of being scattered; especially :  dispersion

Examples of scatter

  1. <played before only a scatter of spectators in that huge stadium>



1642

First Known Use of scatter

1642




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up scatter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ