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 Yes, northern cardinals like to eat on ground level, so just scatter the seeds. Star Tribune, "Northfield feeding station has been fountain of observation," 14 Jan. 2021 Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then scatter the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips on top. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Make mochi for New Year's with this Bay Area native's adorable new cookbook," 30 Dec. 2020 To serve, arrange the carrots and oranges on a platter, drizzle with the vinaigrette, then scatter the parsley and ayib on top. Washington Post, "Roasted carrots get a flavor boost from ayib and a spicy Ethiopian dressing," 9 Dec. 2020 With the Thanksgiving holiday now in the rearview, many are eager to hang their mistletoe, scatter their tinsel and set out to find the perfect Christmas tree. Danielle Harling, House Beautiful, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Reportedly "Excited to Decorate for Christmas"," 29 Nov. 2020 Her remains rest atop a bookshelf in my bedroom, next to an action figure of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, waiting for a time our family can gather to scatter them. John Leland, New York Times, "How the Oldest Old Can Endure Even This," 1 Jan. 2021 Spoon the stuffing into the caps, scatter the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the stuffing. Star Tribune, "Recipe: Cheesy Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms," 16 Dec. 2020 After the cremation, his wife and children scatter his ashes in the sea. Andrea Lee, The New Yorker, "The Rivals," 28 Dec. 2020 The celebration combines elements of LUNA Fete, which will scatter installations citywide this year instead of concentrating them at Duncan Plaza, and the Greenway Soiree fundraiser, which was canceled due to the pandemic. Missy Wilkinson, NOLA.com, "A holiday light show celebrates the Lafitte Greenway's new plaza and its 5-year anniversary," 11 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even with make-goods factored in, there typically is still plenty of valuable inventory available for last-minute buyers in what is known as the scatter market. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "NFL Ratings Drop Leaves Networks Scrambling to Make Advertisers Whole," 12 Dec. 2020 The turkeys have previously frightened customers at a gas station at the intersection of San Pablo and Marin avenues, where an employee has been known to scatter feed in the corner of a parking lot. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Packs of wild turkeys are turning heads and blocking traffic in this East Bay city," 29 Dec. 2020 Because Lake had burned the area before, the fuel load was light: a thin scatter of leaves and twigs. Kiliii Yüyan, History & Culture, "‘There’s good fire and bad fire.’ An Indigenous practice may be key to preventing wildfires," 17 Dec. 2020 In the past few decades, sensors have moved from being relatively large, bulky instruments to small, inexpensive devices that are easy to carry around, build into things like phones, scatter around the environment or place on or inside someone. Nicole Mcfarlane, The Conversation, "How sensors monitor and measure our bodies and the world around us," 7 Dec. 2020 After a team lunch, the local guys scatter to their various family homes, taking any out-of-state teammates with them, for another Thanksgiving dinner. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Thanksgiving Day will be anything but usual for idle Gophers football team," 25 Nov. 2020 Blue and green wavelengths scatter off the molecules, creating the appearance of a green-blue glow. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch Colorful Sunsets on Distant Planets in This NASA Simulation," 30 June 2020 Spoon batter into the pan, scatter the crumb mixture over the top. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Five adaptable recipes, all from your pantry," 30 Mar. 2020 They’re also protected against mosquitoes, as stiff winds coming off the ocean scatter the pesky insects. Popular Science, "Drilling the Arctic refuge doesn’t make sense—but Trump wants it to happen anyway," 24 Nov. 2020

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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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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scatter. Accessed 27 Feb. 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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Comments on scatter

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