Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

  • Once a scatter is attached, a right side of a shade should demeanour similar to this.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • "With our approach we hit fully linear parallelism because we take all the source systems and we essentially do what we call scatter the data," explained Ben Wether, director of product management at Greenplum.

    eWeek - RSS Feeds

  • Turn a ends of a scatter up as good as in to a join stipend creation certain a complete scatter is inside of a accomplished width of a shade, or 5/8 from a edge.

    Archive 2009-12-01

  • "The (team's) paper falls short of establishing that this thin scatter of rubbish was left by chimpanzees," White wrote in an e-mail.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • The analyst, who called the growth in P2P “explosive,” observed that the RIAA strategy was like chasing cockroaches that scatter from the light, stressing that for each P2P network targeted, there are ample more to step up and bring on more users.

    RIAA p2p marketing campaign

  • "Scatter," said he in English -- "scatter without adieus, and all to the fore by morning search back to the Brig of Urchy, comrades there till the middle of the day, then the devil take the hindmost."

    John Splendid The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn

  • Buying spots when the season is under way, rather than ahead of time in the upfront market, is called the scatter market.

    NYT > Home Page

  • As demand for blurbs has increased in the past few months, prices have skyrocketed in the short-term scatter sales market to as much as 25%-30% more than advertisers paid in last year's upfront.

    Variety.com

  • In recent years, lower ratings have often raised prices for ads sold close to the airdate -- known as "scatter" -- because networks had to give away ad time to make up for shortfalls, decreasing their inventory.

    Network Audience Keeps Eroding

  • A stronger "scatter" -- or spot -- market for primetime inventory will help ad sales, making them more of a value than normal.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

Comments

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  • Difficult to make sense of this, and the blog seemingly no longer exists:
    “Turn a ends of a scatter up as good as in to a join stipend creation certain a complete scatter is inside of a accomplished width of a shade, or 5/8 from a edge.”

    May 10, 2012