[ dih-spurs ]
/ dɪˈspɜrs /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: disperse / dispersed / dispersing / dispersible on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), dis·persed, dis·pers·ing.

verb (used without object), dis·persed, dis·pers·ing.

to separate and move apart in different directions without order or regularity; become scattered: The crowd dispersed.
to be dispelled; be scattered out of sight; vanish: The smoke dispersed into the sky.


Physical Chemistry. noting the dispersed particles in a dispersion.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of disperse

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English dispersen, disparsen (from Middle French disperser,) from Latin dispersus (past participle of dispergere), equivalent to di-di-2 + -sper(g)- “scatter” (stem of -spergere, combining form of spargere “to scatter, strew”) + -sus past participle suffix
1. See scatter.
disperse , disburse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for disperse

/ (dɪˈspɜːs) /



of or consisting of the particles in a colloid or suspensiondisperse phase
dispersedly (dɪˈspɜːsɪdlɪ), adverbdisperser, noun
C14: from Latin dispērsus scattered, from dispergere to scatter widely, from di- ² + spargere to strew
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

Medical definitions for disperse

[ dĭ-spûrs ]


To cause to separate and move in different directions; scatter.
To cause to vanish or disappear.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Get Online Help For Kids!