disperse

[ dih-spurs ]
/ dɪˈspɜrs /

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.

adjective

Physical Chemistry. noting the dispersed particles in a dispersion.

Origin of disperse

1350–1400; Middle English dispersen, disparsen (< Middle French disperser) < 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

SYNONYMS FOR disperse

1 See scatter.
2 sow, broadcast.
7 disappear, evanesce.

Related forms

Can be confused

disperse disbursedisperse dispose
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disperse

British Dictionary definitions for disperse

disperse

/ (dɪˈspɜːs) /

verb


adjective

of or consisting of the particles in a colloid or suspensiondisperse phase

Derived Forms

dispersedly (dɪˈspɜːsɪdlɪ), adverbdisperser, noun

Word Origin for disperse

C14: from Latin dispērsus scattered, from dispergere to scatter widely, from di- ² + spargere to strew

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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

Medicine definitions for disperse

disperse

[ dĭ-spûrs ]

v.

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.