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 scatterer (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

The homes, scattered throughout Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties, are expected to see power restored Wednesday, said DTE representative Eric Younan. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "17K metro Detroit homes still without power after Tuesday night storms," 3 July 2019 Tablescapes matched the vibe of the couple's ceremony, with their floral designer, FLORES KL, scattering palm fronds, candles, tropical arrangements and some fruit throughout the design. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Love Story Behind Singer-Songwriter Yuna & Filmmaker Adam Sinclair's Wedding in the Malaysian Jungle," 19 June 2019 In addition to the stationary desks, there are mobile kiosks scattered inside the clubhouse and throughout the park. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "What It's Really Like to Attend Royal Ascot," 18 June 2019 The Enchanted Fairy Doors exhibit has returned to Leu Gardens for a second year, this time hosting 20 doors scattered throughout the 50-acre gardens. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "School’s out: How to have fun and get the kids away from screens this summer," 10 June 2019 In between, a monstrous wildfire consumed his home and destroyed the town of Paradise, leaving most of a city homeless and scattering its close-knit people throughout the region with little time to say goodbye. Fox News, "From fire and ash to caps, gowns: Graduation in burned town," 6 June 2019 The resort collection was comprised of 97 looks in total, according to The Guardian, including Mickey Mouse prints, bold and eccentric patterns, rainbow logo backpacks, and various signature Gucci logos and prints scattered throughout. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Gucci Shows Support of Reproductive Rights With its Latest Collection," 29 May 2019 There are four unique bedrooms, four bathrooms, and multiple living areas, with lofts and balconies scattered throughout. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Someone is Renting Out a Luxurious Home That’s Located Inside of a Cave," 24 May 2019 Believed to have been built between 1200 and 1650 AD without the use of wheels or large animals, there are about 900 statues scattered throughout the island. National Geographic, "Ancient Isles: England, Ireland, and Scotland," 8 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In contrast, the random scatter of dots in the figure on the right shows that labor supply for high-income families is insensitive to the jobless rate. Jared Bernstein, Vox, "Low-income communities are finally feeling the expansion. The Fed is noticing.," 26 June 2019 Direct sunlight is unpolarized — the photons scatter randomly in all directions. Peter Byrne, Quanta Magazine, "A Bold Critic of the Big Bang’s ‘Smoking Gun’," 3 July 2014 When Centerville’s animals sense trouble and scatter, Miller calls out for his dog Rumsfeld, a lame joke worthy of the character-assassination film Vice. Armond White, National Review, "The Dead Don’t Die: Climate-Change Comedy for the Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Era," 14 June 2019 That simple three-dot line is now a confusing scatter plot led by Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, Kurt Rambis, Linda Rambis, Tim Harris, Jesse Buss and Joey Buss, who were all involved in the recent disorganized coaching search. Arash Markazi, latimes.com, "Clippers shed ‘little brother’ status while Lakers lean on legacy," 8 June 2019 Dopamine is the chemical that fosters learning and memory, so the novelty of doing something new scatters the chemical throughout your brain. Denise Foley, Good Housekeeping, "What's Your Emotional Eating Quotient?," 10 Oct. 2012 Before every show, Owen E. Parmele (top), the head of the show’s props department, scatters trash all over the set. New York Times, "Ravaged but Resilient: Creating ‘Once on This Island’," 27 Apr. 2018 Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart. House Beautiful, "Ina Garten's Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts," 28 Aug. 2010 Air on Earth scatters shorter-wavelength light, including most of the blues and greens (which trickle down to us on the planet’s surface), leaving the longer reds to spotlight the moon. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The Century’s Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Shroud the Moon This Month," 2 July 2018

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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Statistics for scatter

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scatter

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on scatter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scatter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scatter

Spanish Central: Translation of scatter

Nglish: Translation of scatter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scatter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scatter

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