v. & n.
v. 1 tr. a throw here and there; strew (scattered gravel on the road). b cover by scattering (scattered the road with gravel). 2 tr. & intr. a move or cause to move in flight etc.; disperse (scattered to safety at the sound). b disperse or cause (hopes, clouds, etc.) to disperse. 3 tr. (as scattered adj.) not clustered together; wide apart; sporadic (scattered villages). 4 tr. Physics deflect or diffuse (light, particles, etc.). 5 a intr. (of esp. a shotgun) fire a charge of shot diffusely. b tr. fire (a charge) in this way.
n. 1 the act or an instance of scattering. 2 a small amount scattered. 3 the extent of distribution of esp. shot. scatter cushions (or rugs, etc.) cushions, rugs, etc., placed here and there for effect. scatter-shot n. & adj. US firing at random. scatterer n.
[ ME, prob. var. of SHATTER ]