scattering

1 of 2

noun

scat·​ter·​ing ˈska-tə-riŋ How to pronounce scattering (audio)
1
: an act or process in which something scatters or is scattered
2
: something scattered: such as
a
: a small number or quantity interspersed here and there
a scattering of visitors
b
: the random change in direction of the particles constituting a beam or wave front due to collision with particles of the medium traversed

scattering

2 of 2

adjective

1
: going in various directions
2
: found or placed far apart and in no order
3
: divided among many or several
scattering votes
scatteringly adverb

Example Sentences

Noun the scattering of the protesters suddenly turned violent and chaotic a scattering of people in the mostly empty theater
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Five years ago, there was only a scattering of automotive tech. Tim Bajarin, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 Since there is only one active official cemetery in Manhattan, the borough’s most popular final resting place may be Central Park — a legal site for the scattering of human ashes. Times Insider Staff Joohee Yoon, New York Times, 31 Dec. 2022 The first is based on a simulation, and the next three incorporate some of the signal scattering that will no doubt happen as the light travels across the galaxy to reach us. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2019 Two months in, Mason studied the scattering of evidence that police had gathered. Steven Rich, Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2022 The scattering of symbols — a sun, a moon, fans, the artist’s hand, along with the letters L and A, all in bright colors over a nude backdrop — are rendered in the exact color palette of the original mural. Deborah Vankin Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2022 The force of the initial blast would be only as deadly as that of a conventional bomb, but the scattering of radioactive debris would be even more deadly and could injure victims with radiation poisoning. Time, 24 Oct. 2022 At the group’s first and only meeting, the scattering of potential volunteers was met by a group of four people, all white, who showed up to disrupt the proceedings. John Leland, New York Times, 7 Oct. 2022 Punctuate the arrangement with a scattering of faux berries from the botanical aisle of the crafts supply store. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scattering was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near scattering

Cite this Entry

“Scattering.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scattering. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

scattering

1 of 2 noun
scat·​ter·​ing ˈskat-ə-riŋ How to pronounce scattering (audio)
1
: an act or process in which something scatters or is scattered
2
: something scattered
especially : a small number or amount placed or found here and there
a scattering of visitors

scattering

2 of 2 adjective
1
: going in various directions
2
: found or placed far apart and in no pattern

Medical Definition

scattering

noun
scat·​ter·​ing
: the random change in direction of the particles constituting a beam or wave front due to collision with particles of the medium traversed

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