- 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.
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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for disperse on Thesaurus.com
1. See scatter. 2. sow, broadcast. 7. disappear, evanesce.
1. combine, collect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dispersing
The new government would have no more success in dispersing the Euromaidan “Security Patrol” than the Yanukovych government did.Is Ukraine Headed For Civil War?
February 25, 2014
The solution of dispersing the remedy in a giant cloud above the city is exactly from The Amazing Spider-Man.Krrish 3 Review: What the Bollywood Movie Steals From Superhero Films
November 6, 2013
Security sources say the children provide a serious logistical challenge to their efforts at dispersing the sit-in.Children Swarm Cairo’s Rabaa Sit-In
August 13, 2013
This time, instead of dispersing the crowd, the police response swelled its ranks exponentially.As Police Cede Taksim Square, Istanbul Remains On Edge
June 2, 2013
They walked in silence until we came to Broadway, where a dozen or so police officers were dispersing a crowd of some sort.Encounters With Thomas Pynchon
October 5, 2011
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
This had the desired effect of clearing the street and of dispersing the rioters.Policing the Plains
The darkness is dispersing; the skies of the future are red with the coming day.Glances at Europe
- 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 suspensiondisperse phase
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
Word Origin and History for dispersing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.