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verb (used with object), dis·si·pat·ed, dis·si·pat·ing.
  1. to scatter in various directions; disperse; dispel.
  2. to spend or use wastefully or extravagantly; squander; deplete: to dissipate one's talents; to dissipate a fortune on high living.
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verb (used without object), dis·si·pat·ed, dis·si·pat·ing.
  1. to become scattered or dispersed; be dispelled; disintegrate: The sun shone and the mist dissipated.
  2. to indulge in extravagant, intemperate, or dissolute pleasure.
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Origin of dissipate

1525–35; < Latin dissipātus (past participle of dissipāre, dissupāre to scatter); see -ate1
Related formsdis·si·pat·er, dis·si·pa·tor, noundis·si·pa·tive, adjectivedis·si·pa·tiv·i·ty [dis-uh-puh-tiv-i-tee] /ˌdɪs ə pəˈtɪv ɪ ti/, nounnon·dis·si·pa·tive, adjective

Synonyms for dissipate

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1. See scatter. 3. disappear, vanish.

Antonyms for dissipate

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

Examples from the Web for dissipative

Historical Examples of dissipative

  • Modest and brave men have looked on low-bosomed women in the glitter of dissipative lights with the same feeling.

    The Bishop of Cottontown

    John Trotwood Moore

  • In practice the vibrations of a system are more or less affected by dissipative forces.

British Dictionary definitions for dissipative


  1. to exhaust or be exhausted by dispersion
  2. (tr) to scatter or break up
  3. (intr) to indulge in the pursuit of pleasure
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Derived Formsdissipater or dissipator, noundissipative, adjective

Word Origin for dissipate

C15: from Latin dissipāre to disperse, from dis- 1 + supāre to throw
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 dissipative



early 15c., from Latin dissipatus, past participle of dissipare "to spread abroad, scatter, disperse; squander, disintegrate," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + supare "to throw, scatter," from PIE *swep- "to throw, sling, cast" (cf. Lithuanian supu "to swing, rock," Old Church Slavonic supo "to strew"). Related: Dissipated; dissipates; dissipating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper