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dissertation

[dis-er-tey-shuh n]
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noun
  1. a written essay, treatise, or thesis, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
  2. any formal discourse in speech or writing.

Origin of dissertation

1605–15; < Latin dissertātiōn- (stem of dissertātiō), equivalent to dissertāt(us) (past participle of dissertāre; dissert- (see dissert) + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdis·ser·ta·tion·al, adjectivedis·ser·ta·tion·ist, noun
Can be confuseddissertation thesis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dissertation

dissertation

noun
  1. a written thesis, often based on original research, usually required for a higher degree
  2. a formal discourse
Derived Formsdissertational, adjectivedissertationist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dissertation

n.

1610s, "discussion, debate," from Latin dissertationem (nominative dissertatio) "discourse," noun of action from past participle stem of dissertare "debate, argue, examine, harangue," frequentative of disserere "discuss, examine," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + serere "to arrange words" (see series). Sense of "formal, written treatise" is 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper