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How to pronounce scatter (audio)
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook

Dictionary definition of scatter

To disperse or spread objects, people, or things in various directions, often in a random or disorganized manner.
"The storm caused waves to scatter seashells along the shore."

Detailed meaning of scatter

When something is scattered, it means that it is separated or distributed over an area in a way that lacks order or concentration. 'Scatter' can involve throwing, tossing, or strewing things loosely, causing them to be spread out or separated. It can also describe the act of dispersing a group of people or animals, causing them to move in different directions. Additionally, 'scatter' can be used figuratively to express the idea of spreading or disseminating something, such as information or ideas, widely and indiscriminately. Overall, 'scatter' denotes the action of causing objects or individuals to disperse, disarrange, or distribute in a non-uniform or haphazard manner.

Example sentences containing scatter

1. The wind began to scatter the leaves across the yard.
2. She watched the children scatter in different directions during the game.
3. The bird flew overhead, causing the pigeons to scatter in alarm.
4. He used his hands to scatter the seeds evenly across the field.
5. The magician scattered the deck of cards, creating a mesmerizing display.
6. The explosion caused debris to scatter in all directions.

History and etymology of scatter

The verb 'scatter' has its etymological roots in the Middle English word 'scateren,' which was derived from the Old Norse term 'skjóta,' meaning 'to shoot' or 'to throw.' This original sense of shooting or throwing something is still present in the word's meaning today, albeit in a more figurative sense. When we say that objects, people, or things are 'scattered,' we imply that they have been thrown or dispersed in various directions, often in a random or disorganized manner. This etymology highlights the idea of forceful dispersal, resembling the act of shooting or throwing something, and has evolved to encompass the broader concept of objects or entities being spread out haphazardly.

Quiz: Find the meaning of scatter

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Further usage examples of scatter

1. The hiker accidentally kicked a rock, causing it to scatter down the hillside.
2. The waves crashed against the rocks, scattering seashells along the shore.
3. The sudden noise made the flock of birds scatter into the sky.
4. She dropped the bag of marbles, causing them to scatter across the floor.
5. The wind picked up, causing the dust to scatter in the air.
6. The children threw confetti into the air, watching it scatter and fall.
7. He opened the container, allowing the contents to scatter across the table.
8. The startled rabbits scattered into the bushes as the dog approached.
9. The car drove through a puddle, causing water to scatter onto the pedestrians.
10. The crowd began to scatter as the police arrived at the scene.
11. The cook accidentally knocked over the spices, causing them to scatter across the counter.
12. The raindrops started to scatter as the storm passed.
13. The runner tripped on a stone, causing his belongings to scatter on the ground.
14. The explosion rocked the building, causing debris to scatter in every direction.

disperse, gather, collect, assemble

TOEFL 12, High School 9, Middle School 5




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