scatter


scatter
scatterable, adj.scatterer, n.scatteringly, adv.
/skat"euhr/, v.t.
1. to throw loosely about; distribute at irregular intervals: to scatter seeds.
2. to separate and drive off in various directions; disperse: to scatter a crowd.
3. Physics.
a. to refract or diffract (light or other electromagnetic radiation) irregularly so as to diffuse in many directions.
b. (of a medium) to diffuse or deflect (light or other wave phenomena) by collisions between the wave and particles of the medium.
v.i.
4. to separate and disperse; go in different directions.
n.
5. the act of scattering.
6. something that is scattered.
[1125-75; ME scatere; cf. D schateren to burst out laughing]
Syn. 1. broadcast. See sprinkle. 2. SCATTER, DISPEL, DISPERSE, DISSIPATE imply separating and driving something away so that its original form disappears. TO SCATTER is to separate something tangible into parts at random, and drive these in different directions: The wind scattered leaves all over the lawn. TO DISPEL is to drive away or scatter usually intangible things so that they vanish or cease to exist: Photographs of the race dispelled all doubts as to which horse won.
To DISPERSE is usually to cause a compact or organized tangible body to separate or scatter in different directions, to be reassembled if desired: Tear gas dispersed the mob. TO DISSIPATE is usually to scatter by dissolving or reducing to small atoms or parts that cannot be brought together again: He dissipated his money and his energy in useless activities.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Scatter — Scat ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Scattered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Scattering}.] [OE. scateren. See {Shatter}.] 1. To strew about; to sprinkle around; to throw down loosely; to deposit or place here and there, esp. in an open or sparse order. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • scatter — [skat′ər] vt. [ME skateren, ult. < IE * sked , to split, disperse < base * sek , to cut > L secare] 1. a) to throw here and there or strew loosely; sprinkle b) to sprinkle over (with) something 2. to separate and drive in many… …   English World dictionary

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  • scatter — index break (fracture), deploy, diffuse, disband, disburse (distribute), dislocate, disorganize …   Law dictionary

  • scatter — (v.) mid 12c., possibly a northern English variant of M.E. schateren (see SHATTER (Cf. shatter)), reflecting Norse influence. Related: Scattered; scattering. Scattershot (adj.) is attested from 1961; figurative use of term for a kind of gun… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Scatter — In ordinary English, to scatter is to distribute randomly. Scatter also has the following meanings: *In physics, scattering is the study of collisions, especially of waves and particles (synonymous in quantum mechanics). In elastic scattering the …   Wikipedia


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