Definition of scattering in US English:



  • 1An act of scattering something.

    • ‘The damage has involved the smashing of glass flower holders and the scattering of flowers and other objects which had been placed on graves.’
    • ‘In the case of cremation, this may follow quite soon, with the ritual interring or scattering of the products of cremation.’
    • ‘The book earnestly tracks Elizabeth's life from her family roots to the sad scattering of her possessions after her death.’
    • ‘Apart from the aesthetic standpoint, ‘that in this enlightened age should be sufficient deterrent’, this scattering of litter was costing ratepayers quite a lot of money.’
    • ‘I did suggest cremation and then the scattering of his ashes by means of a rocket firework.’
    • ‘He is invited to attend the event which will include the dedication of commemorative bench and the scattering of his father's ashes.’
    1. 1.1 A small, dispersed amount of something.
      ‘the scattering of freckles across her cheeks and forehead’
      • ‘We had the same straight, long, red hair, piercing green eyes, and scattering of freckles.’
      • ‘A scattering of greying heads among the youngsters in the crowd show it's striking a chord with those who were there the first time around.’
      • ‘The only spot of colour in the room was a street map on the back of the door, embossed with a random scattering of candy-colour headed pins.’
      • ‘Gatsby insisted that at least his lemon curd was good for him - it came with a scattering of oatmeal flakes on top.’
      • ‘Today, just a handful of shops and a scattering of houses remain, but its still worth a visit if only to capture the flavour of the island's unique heritage.’
      • ‘Illustrated with a scattering of the author's own landscape oil paintings, the autobiographical tales display a love of the Great Outdoors.’
      • ‘As the sign implies, they specialise in military antiques, ex-communist paraphernalia, old photos and a scattering of old tin-type toys.’
      • ‘The archipelago is a scattering of about fifty islands.’
      • ‘Although we have scatterings of subscribers in rural or small-town areas, our basic readership is mainly urban and somewhat sophisticated.’
      • ‘The dish is a plateful of whole smelts, done in a sweet and salty soy-based sauce, topped with a generous scattering of lemon slices and green onion.’
      • ‘Before she could contemplate further, a scattering of small pebbles and concrete dust fell down on her from the pier above.’
      • ‘Bright light illuminates stainless steel machines and walls are fresh and clean with a scattering of arty posters.’
      • ‘Already, in the 1940s, a scattering of articles began to appear in professional journals, providing us with bits and pieces of our history.’
      • ‘In some scenes the branches were bare, and beneath them were tidy scatterings of crispy brown leaves.’
      • ‘A scattering of applause greeted these few dissenters.’
      • ‘Around her was a scattering of men, women and children in ragged clothes, their meagre belongings next to them.’
      • ‘At the hotel entrance, the former heavyweight champion rolls up in a dusty black cab to a scattering of cheers.’
      • ‘Today, only a scattering of cobblestones and a granary remain from the estate of a former Russian general, the nucleus of which formed the boundary of the camp.’
      • ‘This forest consisted of large preserves of woodland, open areas of common land and rough moorland with a scattering of farms and villages.’
      • ‘They looked like aviaries with their random scattering of what appeared to be perches.’
      handful, few, one or two, not many, a small number
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    2. 1.2Physics The process in which electromagnetic radiation or particles are deflected or diffused.
      • ‘During transmission through tissues, energy is lost due to absorption and scattering, and thus the reflected energy of the echo is invariably lower than the original ultrasound.’
      • ‘The amount of scattering depends on the wavelength (hence colour) of the light.’
      • ‘Modern analysis shows that the presence in the atmosphere of dust and large moisture particles causes some scattering of light as it passes through it.’
      • ‘Atomic, and molecular structure enter centrally in determining the scattering and absorption of radiation.’
      • ‘His PhD wasn't concerned with the fission of a large nucleus but with the scattering of small nuclei or, to be precise, on how to calculate three-body forces - a very abstract topic.’