[ dih-sim-uh-ley-shuh n ]
/ dɪˌsɪm əˈleɪ ʃən /


the act of making or becoming unlike.
Phonetics. the process by which a speech sound becomes different from or less like a neighboring sound, as pilgrim [pil-grim] /ˈpɪl grɪm/ from Latin peregrīnus [per-e-gree-noo s] /ˌpɛr ɛˈgri nʊs/, and purple [pur-puh l] /ˈpɜr pəl/ from Old English purpure [poor-poo-re] /ˈpʊər pʊ rɛ/, or disappears entirely because of a like sound in another syllable, as in the pronunciation [guhv-uh-ner] /ˈgʌv ə nər/ for governor.Compare assimilation(def 7).
Biology. catabolism.

Nearby words

  1. dissidents,
  2. dissilient,
  3. dissimilar,
  4. dissimilarity,
  5. dissimilate,
  6. dissimilatory,
  7. dissimilitude,
  8. dissimulate,
  9. dissimulation,
  10. dissipate

Origin of dissimilation

First recorded in 1820–30; dis-1 + (as)similation

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

Examples from the Web for dissimilation

British Dictionary definitions for dissimilation


/ (ˌdɪsɪmɪˈleɪʃən) /


the act or an instance of making dissimilar
phonetics the alteration or omission of a consonant as a result of being dissimilated
biology a less common word for catabolism
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 dissimilation



1874, noun of action from dissimilate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper