One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he broke the slices of bread into pieces and scattered them over the lake’
throw, strew, toss, fling
sprinkle, spread, distribute, sow, broadcast, intersperse, disseminate
shower, spatter, spray
2‘the police fired over their heads and the crowd scattered’
disperse, break up, disband, separate, go in different directions, move in different directions, go separate ways
dissipate, disintegrate, dissolve
drive, send, put to flight, chase
assemble, converge, congregate
3‘the sky above them was scattered with stars’
fleck, stud, dot, cover, sprinkle, stipple, spot, pepper
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