to drive or send off in various directions; scatter: to disperse a crowd.
to spread widely; disseminate: to disperse knowledge.
to dispel; cause to vanish: The wind dispersed the fog.
Physical Chemistry. to cause (particles) to separate uniformly throughout a solid, liquid, or gas.
Optics. to subject (light) to dispersion.
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.
- dis·pers·ed·ly [dih-spur-sid-lee], /dɪˈspɜr sɪd li/, adverb
- dis·pers·er, noun
- dis·pers·i·bil·i·ty, noun
- dis·pers·i·ble, adjective
- pre·dis·perse, verb (used with object), pre·dis·persed, pre·dis·pers·ing.
- re·dis·perse, verb, re·dis·persed, re·dis·pers·ing.
- un·dis·persed, adjective
- un·dis·pers·ing, adjective
- well-dis·persed, adjective
- disperse , disburse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use disperse in a sentence
The state quadrupled eligibility for the vaccine last month and began dispersing its limited number of doses among a broader base of providers.Maryland Democrats call for ‘course correction’ amid regionwide frustration over vaccine rollout | Erin Cox, Rebecca Tan, Antonio Olivo | February 3, 2021 | Washington Post
Outside the court, hundreds of Navalny’s supporters crowded the sidewalks, two days after riot police used batons and stun guns to violently disperse protests in dozens of cities, arresting a record 5,000 people, including dozens of journalists.Russian opposition leader Navalny ordered jailed, calls on supporters to keep pressure on Putin | Isabelle Khurshudyan, Robyn Dixon | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
The state dispersed $266 million to districts to help pay for some expenses and issued public health guidance to help schools plan.In Connecticut, Miguel Cardona led a full-court press for schools to reopen | Laura Meckler, Nick Anderson | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
Then maybe you can disperse the photographs to different family members.A thrift shop photo album is full of mystery photos of a District family | John Kelly | January 27, 2021 | Washington Post
Those chemicals caused the plastic molecules that were dispersed in the liquids to bunch together into solid clumps that could be fished out.Chemists are reimagining recycling to keep plastics out of landfills | Maria Temming | January 27, 2021 | Science News
At about 11 p.m. State Police started flying a helicopter over the scene, ordering the crowds to disperse.Frat Culture Clashes With Riot Police at Keene, N.H., Pumpkin Festival | Melanie Plenda | October 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Two officers, their badge numbers covered by black tape, watch as guests disperse from a house party they have recently disrupted.
This is a problem, since no traffic police can identify any of the trucks if they start to disperse once they enter Ukraine.Putin’s “Humanitarian” Convoy Nears Ukraine, APCs Cross in Secret | Anna Nemtsova | August 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When a big cache of weapons is inbound, rival outfits often gang together to disperse the load among their safe houses.On the Contraband Trail With Libya’s Gun Smugglers | Peter Schwartzstein | June 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
“Instead of car tires, concrete blocks are placed there now, and nobody intends to disperse,” the minister said.
When the last scarlo is burned out a funeral march is played and all disperse to their homes.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
So the clouded day broke sullenly, with gusts of warm rain and red gleams of a sun striving to disperse the mists.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
During the night they disperse, and take up their abode on surrounding farms as peaceful tillers of the soil.Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899-1900) | A. G. Hales
Plants are the accumulators of the power which animals distribute and disperse.English: Composition and Literature | W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
When others gather, do thou disperse; when others disperse, gather.
British Dictionary definitions for disperse
to scatter; distribute over a wide area
to dissipate or cause to dissipate
to leave or cause to leave a gathering, often in a random manner
to separate or be separated by dispersion
(tr) to diffuse or spread (news, information, etc)
to separate (particles) throughout a solid, liquid, or gas, as in the formation of a suspension or colloid
of or consisting of the particles in a colloid or suspension: disperse phase
- dispersedly (dɪˈspɜːsɪdlɪ), adverb
- disperser, 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