Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something scattered, especially a small, irregularly occurring amount or quantity: a scattering of applause.
  • n. Physics The dispersal of a beam of particles or of radiation into a range of directions as a result of physical interactions.
  • adj. Placed irregularly and far apart; scattered.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of scatter.
  • n. A small quantity of something occurring at irregular intervals and dispersed at random points,
  • n. The process whereby a beam of waves or particles is dispersed by collisions or similar interactions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Going or falling in various directions; not united or aggregated; divided among many.
  • n. Act of strewing about; something scattered.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Separating and dispersing in all directions: as, a scattering flock of birds; a scattering shot.
  • Of rare or irregular occurrence; sporadic.
  • Miscellaneous; diversified: as, scattering votes.
  • Separated from the school, as fish: hence, sparse; scarce.
  • n. The act of sprinkling, strewing, or dispersing; dispersion.
  • n. That which has been scattered or strewn abroad.
  • n. One of a number of disconnected or fragmentary things.
  • n. The irregular reflection of light from a surface not perfectly smooth, or from many minute surfaces.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. spreading widely or driving off
  • n. the act of scattering
  • n. a small number (of something) dispersed haphazardly
  • n. the physical process in which particles are deflected haphazardly as a result of collisions
  • n. a light shower that falls in some locations and not others nearby

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • When the neutrons bounce against atomic nuclei, they do not lose energy, but their scattering is concentrated in directions that are determined by the structure in which the atoms are arranged.

    The Nobel Prize in Physics 1994 - Presentation Speech

  • From 1967 to about 1975 the MIT and SLAC groups carried out a series of measurements of inelastic electron scattering from the proton and neutron which provided the first direct evidence of the quark sub-structure of the nucleon.

    Jerome I. Friedman - Autobiography

  • Leipzig, I began to examine the nature of the infinities appearing in scattering processes at the same time that I was engaged in the above-mentioned work of formulating a covariant field theory.

    Sin-Itiro Tomonaga - Nobel Lecture

  • Experiments by Dymond and by myself have established independently that no effect of this order of magnitude exists, when the scattering is done by gold foils.

    G.P. Thomson - Nobel Lecture

  • Dowden's description of the poet Shelley's efforts in scattering one of his suppressed pamphlets, reminded me of ours.

    Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897

  • He was as contumacious and profane as such men are apt to be, and he delighted in scattering his clerical antagonists as a task worthy of his mettle.

    That Lass o' Lowrie's: A Lancashire Story

  • I will leave a few ... that they may declare ... abominations -- God's purpose in scattering a remnant of Jews among the

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • "I like not the warmth of what you call a scattering fire," exclaimed the captain, moving about with uneasiness; "it is more like the roll of

    The Spy

  • One seasoned observer of Iraq told me that the idea of scattering U.S. soldiers to police outposts is madness.

    'Surge' Architect Rejects 'War Czar' Job

  • Three atmospheric processes modify the solar radiation passing through our atmosphere destined to the Earth's surface, namely scattering, absorption, and reflection.

    Atmospheric effects on incoming solar radiation

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.