[ dih-spur-zhuh n, -shuh n ]
/ dɪˈspɜr ʒən, -ʃən /


Also dispersal. an act, state, or instance of dispersing or of being dispersed.
  1. the variation of the index of refraction of a transparent substance, as glass, with the wavelength of light, with the index of refraction increasing as the wavelength decreases.
  2. the separation of white or compound light into its respective colors, as in the formation of a spectrum by a prism.
Statistics. the scattering of values of a variable around the mean or median of a distribution.
Military. a scattered pattern of hits of bombs dropped under identical conditions or of shots fired from the same gun with the same firing data.
Also called disperse system. Physical Chemistry. a system of dispersed particles suspended in a solid, liquid, or gas.
(initial capital letter) Diaspora(def 1).

Origin of dispersion

1350–1400; Middle English dispersio(u)n (< Anglo-French) < Latin dispersiōn- (stem of dispersiō), equivalent to dispers(us) (see disperse) + -iōn- -ion


non·dis·per·sion, nounpre·dis·per·sion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for disperse system (1 of 2)

/ (dɪˈspɜːʃən) /


British Dictionary definitions for disperse system (2 of 2)

/ (dɪˈspɜːʃən) /


the Dispersion another name for the Diaspora
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 system (1 of 2)

disperse system


A system, such as a colloid, consisting of a substance dispersed in a medium.

Medical definitions for disperse system (2 of 2)

[ dĭ-spûrzhən ]


The act or process of dispersing.
The state of being dispersed.
Disperse system.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for disperse system

[ dĭ-spûrzhən ]

The separation by refraction of light or other radiation into individual components of different wavelengths. Dispersion results in most materials because a material's index of refraction depends on the wavelength of the radiation passing through it; thus different wavelengths entering a material along the same path will fan out into different paths within it. Prisms, for example, diffuse white light (which contains an even mixture of visible wavelengths) into its variously colored components; rainbows are an effect of dispersion in water droplets.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.