disperse

[dih-spurs]
See more synonyms for disperse on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), dis·persed, dis·pers·ing.
  1. to drive or send off in various directions; scatter: to disperse a crowd.
  2. to spread widely; disseminate: to disperse knowledge.
  3. to dispel; cause to vanish: The wind dispersed the fog.
  4. Physical Chemistry. to cause (particles) to separate uniformly throughout a solid, liquid, or gas.
  5. Optics. to subject (light) to dispersion.
verb (used without object), dis·persed, dis·pers·ing.
  1. to separate and move apart in different directions without order or regularity; become scattered: The crowd dispersed.
  2. to be dispelled; be scattered out of sight; vanish: The smoke dispersed into the sky.
adjective
  1. 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
Related formsdis·pers·ed·ly [dih-spur-sid-lee] /dɪˈspɜr sɪd li/, adverbdis·pers·er, noundis·pers·i·bil·i·ty, noundis·pers·i·ble, adjectivepre·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, adjectiveun·dis·pers·ing, adjectivewell-dis·persed, adjective
Can be confuseddisperse disbursedisperse dispose

Synonyms for disperse

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

Antonyms for disperse

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


Examples from the Web for dispersing

Contemporary Examples of dispersing

Historical Examples of dispersing

  • Constance asked of Arthur later, when they were dispersing to their several occupations.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Her departure was the signal for the dispersing of the party to their respective couches.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • The outer door had not closed before the tune of which he had spoken was dispersing it.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • This had the desired effect of clearing the street and of dispersing the rioters.

  • The darkness is dispersing; the skies of the future are red with the coming day.

    Glances at Europe

    Horace Greeley


British Dictionary definitions for dispersing

disperse

verb
  1. to scatter; distribute over a wide area
  2. to dissipate or cause to dissipate
  3. to leave or cause to leave a gathering, often in a random manner
  4. to separate or be separated by dispersion
  5. (tr) to diffuse or spread (news, information, etc)
  6. to separate (particles) throughout a solid, liquid, or gas, as in the formation of a suspension or colloid
adjective
  1. of or consisting of the particles in a colloid or suspensiondisperse phase
Derived Formsdispersedly (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

Word Origin and History for dispersing

disperse

v.

late 14c., from Latin dispersus, past participle of dispergere "to scatter," from dis- "apart, in every direction" (see dis-) + spargere "to scatter" (see sparse). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by tostregdan. Related: Dispersed; dispersing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dispersing in Medicine

disperse

[dĭ-spûrs]
v.
  1. To cause to separate and move in different directions; scatter.
  2. 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.