Clothes are scattered all over this closet.
- When you come into a room and throw your jacket on one chair and your bag in the hall, this is an example of a time when you scatter your belongings around.
- When people come to a party together and then go off in different directions when they get there, this is an example of a time when they scatter around the room.
- to throw here and there or strew loosely; sprinkle
- to sprinkle over (with) something
- to separate and drive in many directions; rout; disperse
- Archaic to waste; dissipate
- Physics to diffuse or deflect in an irregular, random manner
Origin of scatterMiddle English skateren, ultimately from Indo-European an unverified form sked-, to split, disperse from base an unverified form sek-, to cut from source Classical Latin secare
- the act or process of scattering
- that which is scattered about
verbscat·tered, scat·ter·ing, scat·ters
- To cause to separate and go in different directions: a dog scattering a flock of pigeons.
- a. To distribute (something) loosely; strew: Books were scattered across the floor.b. To strew something over (a surface): The field was scattered with rocks.
- To diffuse or deflect (radiation or particles).
- Baseball To allow (hits or walks) in small numbers over several innings. Used of a pitcher.
- The act of scattering or the condition of being scattered.
- Something scattered: “Outside of Paris, in the middle of a large field, was a scatter of brick buildings” ( Lorrie Moore )
Origin of scatterMiddle English scateren perhaps from northern dialectal alteration of Old English sceaterian
(third-person singular simple present scatters, present participle scattering, simple past and past participle scattered)
- (ergative) To (cause to) separate and go in different directions; to disperse.
- the police scattered the crowds
- the crowd scattered
- To distribute loosely as by sprinkling.
- Her ashes were scattered at the top of a waterfall.
- (physics) To deflect (radiation or particles).
- (intransitive) To occur or fall at widely spaced intervals.
- To frustrate, disappoint, and overthrow.
- to scatter hopes or plans
From Middle English scateren, skateren, (also schateren, see shatter), from Old English sceaterian, probably from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare Middle Dutch scheteren (“to scatter"), Low German schateren, Dutch schateren (“to burst out laughing").