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
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
Recent Examples on the Web
During it, the seed canister burst, scattering the seeds inside the vacuum chamber.—John Kelly, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2023 Is sighting an omen of another playoff disaster? Sept. 21, 2023
Instead, the Giants’ hitters outlasted him, extending at-bats and scattering foul balls until Sheehan — who threw 34 pitches in the inning and 93 overall, his most since July — finally ran out of gas.—Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2023 The other five farm sites scattered throughout the Boston area, including Astoria Quarter Acre Farm in Mattapan and Garrison-Trotter Farm in Roxbury, are small lots ranging from 12,000 to 14,000 square feet.—Kajsa Kedefors, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Sep. 2023 During the peak years of the pandemic, Mustafa identified and collected witness statements against a trio of Syrian ISIS members who had been active in a remote village in the deserts of central Syria and were now scattered across Western Europe.—Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 14 Sep. 2023 Clothes were scattered everywhere and dirty dishes and trash littered the floor.—Jenisha Watts, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2023 And on a 4-by-5-foot square of AstroTurf, 17 true-to-scale ceramic butts by Taylor Lee Nicholson, 32, were scattered like the contents of an overturned ashtray.—Alexa Brazilian Sharon Radisch, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Corey Reid was supposed to walk down the aisle and scatter flower petals before his cousin’s grand entrance at her wedding this past Sunday.—Caroline Silva, ajc, 13 Sep. 2023 While Miami’s rivals Florida State look primed to ascend to the top of the ACC the balance of power in that conference is scattered with Clemson taking a step back.—Jonathan X. Simmons, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023
Rapid-fire gunshots can be heard and people on the sidewalk scatter.—Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 25 Aug. 2023 His property is exactly the aesthetic the F & F production people are trying to fake, with a genuine scatter of cars and cycles, a school bus, an old Volvo, mysteriously torched.—Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 5 Jan. 2023 When the water is stagnant and still, the bass scatter, suspend, and become hard to catch.—Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 18 Apr. 2023 And follows in the trail the scatter of light.—Jason Lamphier, EW.com, 31 Oct. 2022 While there’s some scatter, the pattern of better results in late afternoon is very pronounced, with a lot of thick, dark, non-dashed lines.—Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 19 Sep. 2021 There is, of course, plenty of scatter: the study applied to real-world runners in real-world marathons.—Richard A. Lovett, Outside Online, 6 Oct. 2020 The surprising thing is that people seemed to underestimate African ancestry from apparent physical features (looking at the scatter of apparent to genomic ancestry).—Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2012 Aerosols can both absorb and scatter radiation from the sun.—Kasha Patel, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Jan. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scatter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English scateren, schateren to disperse, break up, destroy; akin to Middle Dutch schaderen to scatter