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[dis-per-it, dih-spar-]
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  1. distinct in kind; essentially different; dissimilar: disparate ideas.
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Origin of disparate

1580–90; < Latin disparātus separated (past participle of disparāre), equivalent to dis- dis-1 + par(āre) to prepare (see pare) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsdis·pa·rate·ly, adverbdis·pa·rate·ness, nounnon·dis·pa·rate, adjectivenon·dis·pa·rate·ly, adverbnon·dis·pa·rate·ness, noun
Can be confuseddesperate disparate


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for disparate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • No doubt his attachment to the disparate couple counted for not a little.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • Such associations of disparate senses are called complications.

  • The disparate elements of the mediaeval personality were as yet unblended.

  • But Noli was too radical to command the support of the disparate coalition that had ousted Zogu.

  • He has succeeded, according to them, in heaping together an immense amount of information, but it is of the most disparate value.

British Dictionary definitions for disparate


  1. utterly different or distinct in kind
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  1. (plural) unlike things or people
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Derived Formsdisparately, adverbdisparateness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin disparāre to divide, from dis- 1 + parāre to prepare; also influenced by Latin dispar unequal
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 disparate


c.1600, "unlike in kind," from Latin disparatus, past participle of disparare "divide, separate," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + parare "get ready, prepare" (see pare); meaning influenced by Latin dispar "unequal, unlike." Related: Disparately; disparateness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper