scatter

verb
scat·​ter | \ ˈska-tər How to pronounce scatter (audio) \
scattered; scattering; scatters

Definition of scatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to separate widely
b : to cause to vanish
2 archaic : to fling away heedlessly : squander
3 : to distribute irregularly
4 : to sow by casting in all directions : strew
5a : to reflect irregularly and diffusely
b : to cause (a beam of radiation) to diffuse or disperse
6 : to divide into ineffectual small portions

intransitive verb

1 : to separate and go in various directions : disperse
2 : to occur or fall irregularly or at random

scatter

noun

Definition of scatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of scattering
2 : a small quantity or number irregularly distributed or strewn about : scattering
3 : the state or extent of being scattered especially : dispersion

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Other Words from scatter

Verb

scatterer \ ˈska-​tər-​ər How to pronounce scatter (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scatter

Verb

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

Examples of scatter in a Sentence

Verb The wind scattered the pile of leaves. The marbles scattered across the floor. She scattered the books on the table. He scatters his toys all around the house. Noun played before only a scatter of spectators in that huge stadium
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Follow label instructions of the product selected as to the amount needed, and scatter it under the spread of the tree and out past the drip line. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 22 May 2021 Normally, the ghats are crowded with Hindus who come to bathe, baptize their children and scatter the ashes of their dead. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 Normally, the ghats are crowded with Hindus who come to bathe, baptize their children and scatter the ashes of their dead. Pamela Constable, Anchorage Daily News, 22 May 2021 Normally, the ghats are crowded with Hindus who come to bathe, baptize their children and scatter the ashes of their dead. BostonGlobe.com, 22 May 2021 These speakers are great to scatter throughout your backyard for a surround sound experience. Southern Living, 2 May 2021 Why scatter the bodies around the landscape, cut off the clothing of some and dress others in it, build a snow den, bury four bodies in ten feet of snow, light a fire, and climb a tree to break branches, leaving skin on the bark? Douglas Preston, The New Yorker, 10 May 2021 Foragers should also avoid harvesting ramps that are flowering, or about to flower, so the seeds will scatter in early fall. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 5 May 2021 To a food processor, add about ½ of the flour mixture and scatter the butter over the top. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Pure Structural Colour is produced from nanostructures -- tiny particles that reflect and scatter light to replicate the brightest hues found in nature. CNN, 3 June 2021 When a great tree falls, the birds, with no branch to perch on, scatter. Kwame Alexander, Bon Appétit, 25 May 2021 Blue and purple have the shortest wavelengths of light, which more easily strike molecules and so more easily scatter. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 21 May 2021 The authors kick things off by distinguishing between bias (systematic deviations) and noise (random scatter). Washington Post, 21 May 2021 Easy peasy — just scatter coffee grounds on the puddles, which will kill any larvae by suffocation. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 18 May 2021 Later in the clip, the pallbearers scatter and the person on the stretcher stands up and runs away. Daniel Funke, USA TODAY, 14 May 2021 Spread crema or thinned sour cream over the top and scatter shredded cheese over that. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 11 May 2021 Other times, the kids scatter around the house, one child doing schoolwork on the floor, another at the dining table. Samantha Davenport, Anchorage Daily News, 10 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scatter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scatter

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scatter

Verb

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

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Learn More About scatter

Time Traveler for scatter

Time Traveler

The first known use of scatter was in the 14th century

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Statistics for scatter

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scatter. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for scatter

scatter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of scatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

scatter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scatter (Entry 2 of 2)

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

scatter

verb
scat·​ter | \ ˈska-tər How to pronounce scatter (audio) \
scattered; scattering

Kids Definition of scatter

1 : to toss, sow, or place here and there He scattered his toys all around the house.
2 : to separate or cause to separate and go in different ways The crowd suddenly scattered.

scatter

transitive verb
scat·​ter | \ ˈskat-ər How to pronounce scatter (audio) \

Medical Definition of scatter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (a beam of radiation) to diffuse or disperse

scatter

noun

Medical Definition of scatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of scattering
2 : the state or extent of being scattered especially : scattering

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