Dictionary

disperse

verb dis·perse \di-ˈspərs\

: to go or move in different directions : to spread apart

dis·perseddis·pers·ing

Full Definition of DISPERSE

transitive verb
1
a :  to cause to break up <police dispersed the crowd>
b :  to cause to become spread widely
c :  to cause to evaporate or vanish <sunlight dispersing the mist>
2
:  to spread or distribute from a fixed or constant source: as
a archaic :  disseminate
b :  to subject (as light) to dispersion
c :  to distribute (as fine particles) more or less evenly throughout a medium
intransitive verb
1
:  to break up in random fashion <the crowd dispersed on request>
2
a :  to become dispersed
b :  dissipate, vanish <the fog dispersed toward morning>
dis·persed·ly \-ˈspər-səd-lē, -ˈspərst-lē\ adverb
dis·pers·er noun
dis·pers·ible \-ˈspər-sə-bəl\ adjective
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Examples of DISPERSE

  1. Police ordered the crowd to disperse.
  2. <the crowd dispersed once the show ended>

Origin of DISPERSE

Middle English, from Latin dispersus, past participle of dispergere to scatter, from dis- + spargere to scatter — more at spark
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of DISPERSE

scatter, disperse, dissipate, dispel mean to cause to separate or break up. scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions <the bowling ball scattered the pins>. disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group <police dispersed the crowd>. dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance <the fog was dissipated by the morning sun>. dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering <an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt>.
DISPERSED Defined for Kids

disperse

verb dis·perse \di-ˈspərs\
dis·perseddis·pers·ing

Definition of DISPERSE for Kids

:  to break up and scatter <The clouds dispersed.>
Medical Dictionary

disperse

verb dis·perse \dis-ˈpərs\
dis·perseddis·pers·ing

Medical Definition of DISPERSE

transitive verb
:  to spread or distribute from a fixed or constant source: as a :  to subject (as light) to dispersion b :  to distribute (as fine particles) more or less evenly throughout a medium
intransitive verb
:  to become dispersed

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