scatter

scatter
verb
1)

the papers were scattered by the sudden breeze

scatter the seeds as evenly as possible

Syn:
throw, strew, toss, fling; sprinkle, spread, distribute, sow, broadcast, disseminate; literary bestrew
Ant:
gather
2)

the crowd scattered

onlookers were scattered in all directions

Syn:
disperse, break up, disband, separate, move/go in different directions, go separate ways; dissipate, dissolve; drive, send, put to flight, chase
Ant:
assemble
••
scatter, broadcast, diffuse, dispel, disperse, disseminate, dissipate
If you scatter something, you throw it about in different directions, often using force (the wind scattered leaves around the yard). Disperse implies a scattering that completely breaks up a mass or assemblage and spreads the units far and wide (the crowd dispersed as soon as the storm arrived; the ships were so widely dispersed that they couldn't see each other). To dispel is to scatter or to drive away something that obscures, confuses, or bothers (to dispel her fears), while to diffuse is to lessen the intensity of something by spreading it out over a broader area (the curtains diffused the bright sunlight pouring in the window). Dissipate suggests that something has completely dissolved, disintegrated, or vanished (early-morning mist dissipated by the sun). Broadcast originally meant to scatter seed, but it is also used figuratively to mean make public (The news of the president's defeat was broadcast the next morning). Disseminate also means to publish or make public, but it implies a wider audience and usually a longer duration. You can spend a lifetime disseminating knowledge, in other words, but you would broadcast the news of the birth of your first grandchild.

Thesaurus of popular words. 2014.

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Synonyms:

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  • scatter — 1 Scatter, disperse, dissipate, dispel can mean to cause a group, mass, or assemblage to separate or break up. Scatter may imply the use or operation of force which drives the persons or things in different directions {the hurricane scattered the …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Scatter — Scat ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Scattered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Scattering}.] [OE. scateren. See {Shatter}.] 1. To strew about; to sprinkle around; to throw down loosely; to deposit or place here and there, esp. in an open or sparse order. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scatter — ● scatter nom masculin (anglais to scatter, disperser) Dispersion relative des résultats partiels obtenus par un sujet à une batterie de tests. scatter [skatɛʀ] n. m. ÉTYM. 1968; mot angl., de to scatter « éparpiller, disperser ». ❖ ♦ Anglic.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • scatter — scat‧ter [ˈskætə ǁ ər] noun [uncountable] MARKETING used to talk about advertising that is spread over a wide range of television or radio programmes according to what is available, rather than done by selecting particular programmes to sponsor:… …   Financial and business terms

  • scatter — [skat′ər] vt. [ME skateren, ult. < IE * sked , to split, disperse < base * sek , to cut > L secare] 1. a) to throw here and there or strew loosely; sprinkle b) to sprinkle over (with) something 2. to separate and drive in many… …   English World dictionary

  • Scatter — Scat ter, v. i. To be dispersed or dissipated; to disperse or separate; as, clouds scatter after a storm. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scatter — index break (fracture), deploy, diffuse, disband, disburse (distribute), dislocate, disorganize …   Law dictionary

  • scatter — (v.) mid 12c., possibly a northern English variant of M.E. schateren (see SHATTER (Cf. shatter)), reflecting Norse influence. Related: Scattered; scattering. Scattershot (adj.) is attested from 1961; figurative use of term for a kind of gun… …   Etymology dictionary

  • scatter — [v] strew, disperse besprinkle, broadcast, cast, derange, diffuse, disband, discard, disject, dispel, disseminate, dissipate, distribute, disunite, diverge, divide, expend, fling, intersperse, litter, migrate, part, pour, put to flight*, run away …   New thesaurus

  • scatter — ► VERB 1) throw in various random directions. 2) separate and move off in different directions. 3) (be scattered) occur or be found at various places rather than all together. 4) Physics deflect or diffuse (electromagnetic radiation or particles) …   English terms dictionary

  • Scatter — In ordinary English, to scatter is to distribute randomly. Scatter also has the following meanings: *In physics, scattering is the study of collisions, especially of waves and particles (synonymous in quantum mechanics). In elastic scattering the …   Wikipedia

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