scatter about and scatter around

scatter about

1. To strew, distribute, or disperse things all around (some place), especially in a haphazard or aimless manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scatter" and "about." I leaped into the pile of leaves and scattered them about. The cat jumped onto my desk and scattered about all my important documents. I scattered my grandmother's ashes about the field, as she instructed in her will.
2. To separate and distribute rays of light in many different directions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scatter" and "about." The crystal scatters the sunlight about in a myriad of colors. The gems in the cave scattered about the light from the flashlight.
See also: scatter

scatter something about and scatter something around

to throw or distribute something about. The children scattered the books about and left the room in a general mess. They scattered about all the books and papers.
See also: and, around, scatter