follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

scattering

[skat-er-ing] /ˈskæt ər ɪŋ/
adjective
1.
distributed or occurring here and there at irregular intervals; scattered.
2.
straggling, as an assemblage of parts.
3.
(of votes) cast in small numbers for various candidates.
4.
distributing, dispersing, or separating.
noun
5.
a small, scattered number or quantity.
6.
Physics. the process in which a wave or beam of particles is diffused or deflected by collisions with particles of the medium that it traverses.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; see scatter, -ing2, -ing1

scatter

[skat-er] /ˈskæt ər/
verb (used with object)
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.
  1. to refract or diffract (light or other electromagnetic radiation) irregularly so as to diffuse in many directions.
  2. (of a medium) to diffuse or deflect (light or other wave phenomena) by collisions between the wave and particles of the medium.
verb (used without object)
4.
to separate and disperse; go in different directions.
noun
5.
the act of scattering.
6.
something that is scattered.
Origin
1125-75; Middle English scatere; compare Dutch schateren to burst out laughing
Related forms
scatterable, adjective
scatterer, noun
scatteringly, adverb
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for scattering
  • Garden steps and low walls can double as seating too with a scattering of cushions.
  • scattering scratch in different areas each day will also help prevent overgrazing in a single area.
  • scattering ourselves among the trees-glove-free and carefree, happy for such a beautiful day away from our desks.
  • Others swoop close to their stars and then swing far out on egg-shaped paths, scattering smaller bodies as they go.
  • There is no stopping it: surrender on all sides, everyone scattering.
  • When he bent down to fill in the final square, to a scattering of applause, all the air seemed to go out of the room.
  • The settling of stationing cleaning is one way not to shatter scatter and scattering.
  • The beam's pulses lasted for quadrillionths of a second, scattering from the subject's surface in the instant before it vaporized.
  • We swoop low over a stubble field, scattering a flock of emus.
  • The format mixes music to use all six channels, scattering rays of sound for you to bask in.
British Dictionary definitions for scattering

scattering

/ˈskætərɪŋ/
noun
1.
a small amount
2.
(physics) the process in which particles, atoms, etc, are deflected as a result of collision

scatter

/ˈskætə/
verb
1.
(transitive) to throw about in various directions; strew
2.
to separate and move or cause to separate and move in various directions; disperse
3.
to deviate or cause to deviate in many directions, as in the diffuse reflection or refraction of light
noun
4.
the act of scattering
5.
a substance or a number of objects scattered about
Derived Forms
scatterable, adjective
scatterer, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably a variant of shatter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scattering
n.

mid-14c., "that which has been strewn about;" late 14c., "act of dispersing," verbal noun from scatter (v.).

scatter

v.

mid-12c. (transitive), possibly a northern English variant of Middle English schateren (see shatter), reflecting Norse influence. Intransitive sense from early 15c. Related: Scattered; scattering. As a noun from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
scattering in Medicine

scatter scat·ter (skāt'ər)
v. scat·tered, scat·ter·ing, scat·ters

  1. To cause to separate and go in different directions.

  2. To separate and go in different directions; disperse.

  3. To deflect radiation or particles.

n.
The act of scattering or the condition of being scattered.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
scattering in Science
scattering
  (skāt'ər-ĭng)   
The spreading of a stream of particles or a beam of rays, as of light, over a range of directions as a result of collisions with other particles. The sky appears blue due to the tendency of air molecules to scatter blue and violet light more than light of other frequencies. The scattering probabilities and patterns of subatomic particles, accelerated by particle accelerators and aimed at a target, is a major component of experimental particle physics. See also diffusion, cross section.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scattering

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scattering

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with scattering

Nearby words for scattering