Choose the right word
scatter, broadcast, diffuse, dispel, disperse, disseminate, dissipate
If you scatter something, you throw it about in different directions, often using force ( the wind scattered leaves around the yard). Disperse implies a scattering that completely breaks up a mass or assemblage and spreads the units far and wide ( the crowd dispersed as soon as the storm arrived; the ships were so widely dispersed that they couldn't see each other). To dispel is to scatter or to drive away something that obscures, confuses, or bothers ( to dispel her fears), while to diffuse is to lessen the intensity of something by spreading it out over a broader area ( the curtains diffused the bright sunlight pouring in the window). Dissipate suggests that something has completely dissolved, disintegrated, or vanished ( early-morning mist dissipated by the sun). Broadcast originally meant to scatter seed, but it is also used figuratively to mean make public ( the news of the president's defeat was broadcast the next morning). Disseminate also means to publish or make public, but it implies a wider audience and usually a longer duration. You can spend a lifetime disseminating knowledge, in other words, but you would broadcast the news of the birth of your first grandchild.