scatter

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English scateren, skateren, (also schateren, see shatter), from Old English sceaterian, probably from a dialect of Old Norse. Compare Middle Dutch scheteren (to scatter), Low German schateren, Dutch schateren (to burst out laughing).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

scatter (third-person singular simple present scatters, present participle scattering, simple past and past participle scattered)

  1. (ergative) To (cause to) separate and go in different directions; to disperse.
    the police scattered the crowds
    the crowd scattered
    • Shakespeare
      Scatter and disperse the giddy Goths.
  2. (transitive) To distribute loosely as by sprinkling.
    Her ashes were scattered at the top of a waterfall.
    • Dryden
      Why should my muse enlarge on Libyan swains, / Their scattered cottages, and ample plains?
  3. (transitive, physics) To deflect (radiation or particles).
  4. (intransitive) To occur or fall at widely spaced intervals.
  5. To frustrate, disappoint, and overthrow.
    to scatter hopes or plans

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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