What does scatter mean?

Definitions for scatter
ˈskæt ərscat·ter

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word scatter.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. scatter, spreadnoun

    a haphazard distribution in all directions

  2. scatter, scattering, strewingverb

    the act of scattering

  3. disperse, dissipate, dispel, break up, scatterverb

    to cause to separate and go in different directions

    "She waved her hand and scattered the crowds"

  4. disperse, dissipate, scatter, spread outverb

    move away from each other

    "The crowds dispersed"; "The children scattered in all directions when the teacher approached";

  5. scatter, sprinkle, dot, dust, disperseverb

    distribute loosely

    "He scattered gun powder under the wagon"

  6. scatterverb

    sow by scattering

    "scatter seeds"

  7. break up, disperse, scatterverb

    cause to separate

    "break up kidney stones"; "disperse particles"

  8. spread, scatter, spread outverb

    strew or distribute over an area

    "He spread fertilizer over the lawn"; "scatter cards across the table"


  1. scatterverb

    To (cause to) separate and go in different directions; to disperse.

  2. scatterverb

    To distribute loosely as by sprinkling.

    Her ashes were scattered at the top of a waterfall.

  3. scatterverb

    To deflect (radiation or particles).

  4. scatterverb

    To occur or fall at widely spaced intervals.

  5. Etymology: From scateren, from sceaterian, probably from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare Low German schateren, Dutch schateren and Norwegian skratte ('to burst out laughing').

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To SCATTERverb

    Etymology: scateran , Saxon; schatteren, Dutch.

    Where cattle pastur’d late, now scatter’d lies
    With carcases and arms th’ ensanguin’d field. John Milton.

    Teach the glad hours to scatter, as they fly,
    Soft quiet, gentle love, and endless joy. Matthew Prior.

    Corruption, still
    Voracious, swallow’d what the liberal hand
    Of bounty scatter’d o’er the savage year. James Thomson.

    A king, that sitteth in the throne of judgment, scattereth away all evil with his eyes. Prov. xx. 8.

    The Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard with scattering and tempest and stones. Is. xxx. 30.

    Samuel came not to Gilgal, and the people were scattered from Saul. 1 Sa. xiii. 8.

    Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
    Recovering, and his scatter’d sp’rits return’d. John Milton.

    Why should my muse enlarge on Libyan swains,
    Their scatter’d cottages and ample plains. Dryden.

  2. To Scatterverb

    To be dissipated; to be dispersed.

    Sound diffuseth itself in rounds; but if that which would scatter in open air, be made to go into a canal, it gives greater force to the sound. Francis Bacon.

    The sun
    Shakes from his noon-day throne the scattering clouds. James Thomson.


  1. scatter

    Scatter generally refers to the act or process of dispersing, distributing, or spreading something widely in different directions or over a broad area. It can also refer to the act of separating and moving in different directions. In context, it could also indicate a measurement of the variability, or spread of data points in statistics, or the path of light in physics when it encounters an object or medium and deflects in various directions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Scatterverb

    to strew about; to sprinkle around; to throw down loosely; to deposit or place here and there, esp. in an open or sparse order

  2. Scatterverb

    to cause to separate in different directions; to reduce from a close or compact to a loose or broken order; to dissipate; to disperse

  3. Scatterverb

    hence, to frustrate, disappoint, and overthrow; as, to scatter hopes, plans, or the like

  4. Scatterverb

    to be dispersed or dissipated; to disperse or separate; as, clouds scatter after a storm

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Scatter

    skat′ėr, v.t. to disperse in all directions: to throw loosely about: to strew: to sprinkle: to dispel: to put to flight: to drop: to throw shot too loosely.—v.i. to be dispersed or dissipated.—n. Scatt′erbrain, a thoughtless, giddy person.—adjs. Scatt′er-brained, giddy; Scatt′ered, widely separated: wandering: distracted: irregular.—ns. Scatt′erer, one who or that which scatters; Scatt′er-good, a spendthrift; Scatt′er-gun, a shot-gun; Scatt′ering, something scattered: dispersion: that which has been scattered: the irregular reflection of light from a surface not perfectly smooth.—adj. dispersing: rare, sporadic: diversified.—adv. Scatt′eringly, in a dispersed manner: here and there.—ns. Scatt′erling (Spens.), one who has no fixed abode: a vagabond; Scatt′ermouch, any Latin or Levantine, in Pacific slang.—adj. Scatt′ery, dispersed: sparse: few and far between. [A.S. scateran, scaterian; cf. Shatter.]

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'scatter' in Verbs Frequency: #833

How to pronounce scatter?

How to say scatter in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of scatter in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of scatter in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of scatter in a Sentence

  1. Angela Gittens:

    Most airports were not built to have people congregate at doors, and every time you stop people, you're interfering with what airports were supposed to be doing. You're trapping people in a line where if something did happen these people would not be able to scatter.

  2. Italian Proverb:

    If you scatter thorns, don't go barefoot.

  3. Carolyn Orbann:

    I saw a report from Missouri where I guess normally they would throw dry corn into each other's houses, it said,' the price of corn is too high for us to scatter the dry corn.' So the kids scattered the white fuzz that comes off of cattails around ponds.

  4. George Washington:

    May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

  5. Karim Sadr:

    It was only in 2016 after poring over all of that detailed imagery that I eventually realized that the homesteads are not a scatter of villages but parts of one entity; a city, rather than a dispersion of homesteads.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for scatter

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تفرق, نثرArabic
  • zerstreuen, streuenGerman
  • disĵetiEsperanto
  • esparcir, desviar, dispersarSpanish
  • پراکندن, پراکنده کردنPersian
  • sirotella, sirottaa, sirotaFinnish
  • dispersion, parsemer, se disperser, disperser, éparpillerFrench
  • breac, frasScottish Gaelic
  • dilazionarsi, disperdersi, sparpagliare, cospargere, deflettere, disperdereItalian
  • לְפַזֵרHebrew
  • 散らす, 散らかす, 播く, 散らばる, 散布, 散乱, 撒く, 蒔く, 散るJapanese
  • 흩다, 흩어지다, 뿌리다Korean
  • whakamararaMāori
  • spreNorwegian
  • uiteenspatten, verstrooien, uiteengaan, verspreidenDutch
  • spreieNorwegian Nynorsk
  • strøNorwegian
  • dispersar, espalharPortuguese
  • разбрызгивать, рассеивать, разбросать, разбрызгать, разбрасывать, рассеятьRussian
  • strö, skingras, sprida, skingra, strö ut, beströSwedish
  • చెల్లాచెదరుTelugu
  • กระจายThai
  • dağılmak, saçmak, serpiştirmek, yaymak, serpmek, savurmakTurkish
  • tiêu tanVietnamese
  • 分散Chinese

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"scatter." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/scatter>.

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    a person who is member of one's class or profession
    A confrere
    B nidus
    C sousing
    D scalawag

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