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 Witnesses often scatter and are reluctant to share information with police, fearful for their safety. oregonlive, 6 Oct. 2021 My wish is to scatter all the good and gifts that God and Tom have given me to this city and community... Christopher Dodson, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 According to Canadian startup Flash Forest, two drone pilots can scatter as many as 100,000 seeds a day. Khari Johnson, Wired, 26 Sep. 2021 Those smoke particles scatter the light more, lending to the appearance of the longer wavelengths of light, which appear red. Lawrence Andrea, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 Those smoke particles scatter the light more, lending to the appearance of the longer wavelengths of light, which appear red. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Sep. 2021 The four South pitchers, starter Tucker Jackson of Houston Academy, Easterling and Pope combined to scatter six hits and strike out 10 in the opening win. Al.com Reports, al, 20 July 2021 The Taliban fired into the air and used batons to scatter a crowd of people, video footage showed, according to the Associated Press. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2021 Flip the tomatoes over and scatter half the garlic and chiles on top of the tomatoes, allowing some to fall into the oil in the gaps between the halves. Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Divide the mixture among serving bowls, top with the halloumi slices and scatter with the parsley. Washington Post, 12 July 2021 As a reminder, the gases and particulates in the atmosphere scatter sunlight. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Swarms of microfliers could be dropped from the sky to catch the wind and scatter across vast areas, says John Rogers, a physical chemist at Northwestern University. Nikk Ogasa, Scientific American, 22 Sep. 2021 Quick acceleration and a roach-like propensity to scatter sideways when provoked are the charms of such a lightweight vehicle. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2021 Its slumber underground had not degraded its shape, and its purpose was preserved by the manner of its internment, amid a scatter of mammoth bones. Ross Andersen, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2021 Reuters Earlier in the Afghan capital of Kabul, Taliban gunmen fired in the air to scatter protesters, witnesses told Reuters, as video showed scores of people scurrying to escape volleys of gunfire. NBC News, 7 Sep. 2021 Then gunfire rang out and the crowd started to scatter. Marcus Yam, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Aug. 2021 Then gunfire rang out and the crowd started to scatter. Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near scatter

scatt

scatter

scatterable

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Statistics for scatter

Last Updated

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scatter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scatter. Accessed 20 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on scatter

Nglish: Translation of scatter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scatter for Arabic Speakers

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