from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To cause to separate and go in different directions.
- transitive v. To distribute loosely by or as if by sprinkling; strew: scattering confetti from the upper windows.
- transitive v. Physics To deflect (radiation or particles).
- intransitive v. To separate and go in different directions; disperse.
- intransitive v. To occur or fall at widely spaced intervals.
- n. The act of scattering or the condition of being scattered.
- n. Something scattered.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To (cause to) separate and go in different directions; to disperse.
- v. To distribute loosely as by sprinkling.
- v. (physics) To deflect (radiation or particles).
- v. To occur or fall at widely spaced intervals.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To strew about; to sprinkle around; to throw down loosely; to deposit or place here and there, esp. in an open or sparse order.
- transitive v. To cause to separate in different directions; to reduce from a close or compact to a loose or broken order; to dissipate; to disperse.
- transitive v. Hence, to frustrate, disappoint, and overthrow.
- intransitive v. To be dispersed or dissipated; to disperse or separate.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To throw loosely about; strew; sprinkle.
- To besprinkle or strew as with something thrown here and there.
- To separate and drive off in disorder and in all directions; rout; put to disorderly retreat or flight; disperse; dissipate: as, to scatter an enemy's forces; to scatter a mob.
- Hence To throw into confusion; overthrow; dispel; put to flight: as, to scatter hopes, fears, plans, etc.
- To let fall as by accident or at random; drop.
- Synonyms To diffuse, spread, distribute.
- 3 and Disperse, Dispel, etc. See dissipate.
- To separate and disperse; proceed in different directions; hence, to go hither and thither at random.
- Specifically, to throw shot too loosely or without concentration of the charge: said of a gun.
- In optics, to reflect diffusely or irregularly, as from a rough surface.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. to cause to separate and go in different directions
- v. distribute loosely
- n. the act of scattering
- v. cause to separate
- n. a haphazard distribution in all directions
- v. strew or distribute over an area
- v. move away from each other
- v. sow by scattering
Middle English scateren, perhaps from northern dialectal alteration of Old English *sceaterian.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English scateren, from Old English sceaterian, probably from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare Low German schateren, Dutch schateren and Norwegian skratte ('to burst out laughing'). (Wiktionary)