[dis-uh-pey-shuh n]


the act of dissipating.
the state of being dissipated; dispersion; disintegration.
a wasting by misuse: the dissipation of a fortune.
mental distraction; amusement; diversion.
dissolute way of living, especially excessive drinking of liquor; intemperance.
Physics, Mechanics. a process in which energy is used or lost without accomplishing useful work, as friction causing loss of mechanical energy.

Origin of dissipation

1535–45; < Latin dissipātiōn- (stem of dissipātiō), equivalent to dissipāt(us) (see dissipate) + -iōn- -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dissipation

Historical Examples of dissipation

  • To do him justice, his dissipation of the past few months had not included women.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The gifts of nature had been the instruments of dissipation.

  • Still he pursued his plan, and sought for safety in a course of dissipation.

  • No taint of vice or dissipation had ever sullied the brightness of his pleasant life.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • It was his dissipation; there was something vaguely perilous in the absorption of it.

British Dictionary definitions for dissipation



the act of dissipating or condition of being dissipated
unrestrained indulgence in physical pleasures, esp alcohol
excessive expenditure; wastefulness
amusement; diversion
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 dissipation

early 15c., "act of scattering," from Latin dissipationem (nominative dissipatio), noun of action from past participle stem of dissipare (see dissipate). Meaning "intemperate mode of living" is from 1784.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dissipation in Science



The loss of energy from a physical system, most often in the form of heat.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.