Scat·ter v. t. [imp. & p. p. Scattered p. pr. & vb. n. Scattering.]
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.
And some are scattered all the floor about. --Chaucer.
Why should my muse enlarge on Libyan swains,
Their scattered cottages, and ample plains? --Dryden.
Teach the glad hours to scatter, as they fly,
Soft quiet, gentle love, and endless joy. --Prior.
2. To cause to separate in different directions; to reduce from a close or compact to a loose or broken order; to dissipate; to disperse.
Scatter and disperse the giddy Goths. --Shak.
3. Hence, to frustrate, disappoint, and overthrow; as, to scatter hopes, plans, or the like.
Syn: -- To disperse; dissipate; spread; strew.
Scat·ter·ing, a. Going or falling in various directions; not united or aggregated; divided among many; as, scattering votes.
Scat·ter·ing, n. Act of strewing about; something scattered.
adj : spreading by diffusion [syn: diffusing(a), diffusive, dispersive,
disseminative, disseminating, spreading]
n 1: the physical process in which particles are deflected
haphazardly as a result of collisions
2: a small number dispersed haphazardly; "the first scatterings
of green" [syn: sprinkling]
3: a light shower that falls in some locations and not others
nearby [syn: sprinkle, sprinkling]
4: spreading widely or driving off [syn: dispersion]
5: the act of scattering [syn: scatter, strewing]