Thesaurus

scatter

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of scatter

(Entry 1 of 2)

a small number
  • played before only a scatter of spectators in that huge stadium

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scatter

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of scatter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to cause (members of a group) to move widely apart
  • the noise of the backfiring car scattered the pigeons

Synonyms for scatter

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Antonyms for scatter

2 to cover by or as if by scattering something over or on
  • the hillside was scattered with boulders deposited by the last ice age

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3 to go off in different directions and cease to exist as a body or unified whole
  • these drunken revelers will quickly scatter when the police arrive

Synonyms for scatter

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Frequently Asked Questions About scatter

How does the verb scatter differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of scatter are dispel, disperse, and dissipate. While all these words 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

When could dispel be used to replace scatter?

The meanings of dispel and scatter largely overlap; however, dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering.

an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt

In what contexts can disperse take the place of scatter?

The words disperse and scatter are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group.

police dispersed the crowd

Where would dissipate be a reasonable alternative to scatter?

In some situations, the words dissipate and scatter are roughly equivalent. However, dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance.

the fog was dissipated by the morning sun

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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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Cite this Entry

“Scatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/scatter. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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