dis·​pers·​al | \ di-ˈspər-səl \

Definition of dispersal

: the act or result of dispersing especially : the process or result of the spreading of organisms from one place to another

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Examples of dispersal in a Sentence

the dispersal of plant seeds in the forests through natural means

Recent Examples on the Web

Its military forces responded with riot-dispersal measures as well as live fire, which Gaza’s Ministry of Health said killed two people. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Israel Closes Pedestrian Crossing With Gaza," 19 Aug. 2018 Long digestive tracts retain seeds for long periods, enabling dispersal across wide distances. Adam Popescu, National Geographic, "These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them," 12 June 2018 One can imagine a scenario in which, in particular, a deadly ambush at a synagogue and the dispersal of pipe bombs around the country might reduce the political divides in America, and soften the mood music in the political debate. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Violence That Changes Everything—and Nothing," 29 Oct. 2018 Sterile by themselves, any two of these varieties together would produce a heavy fruit set for winter bird dispersal. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018 His biggest coup was providing the Brits with the design of a chemical warfare dispersal device manufactured from parts that could be found in a tool shed and was capable of spreading deadly cyanogen chloride or other agents. NBC News, "He spied on al Qaeda from the inside, until he had to run for his life," 17 June 2018 Arabia was at the heart of that dispersal from Africa into Asia. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "A Fossilized Finger Bone May Be From the Earliest Humans on the Arabian Peninsula," 9 Apr. 2018 The arrests were for alleged offences including affray, ticket touting and breaching banning and dispersal orders. SI.com, "Eight People Arrested After Manchester Brawl Before United's 3-2 Win Against City," 8 Apr. 2018 An on-site LAPD helicopter advised that there were 1,000 people in the area and sent out dispersal orders. NBC News, "As fans mourn rapper XXXTentacion's death, police search for his killer," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dispersal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dispersal

1821, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for dispersal

Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for dispersal

The first known use of dispersal was in 1821

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More Definitions for dispersal


dis·​pers·​al | \ dis-ˈpər-səl \

Medical Definition of dispersal

: the act or result of dispersing specifically : the process or result of the spreading of organisms from one place to another

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More from Merriam-Webster on dispersal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dispersal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dispersal

Spanish Central: Translation of dispersal

Nglish: Translation of dispersal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dispersal

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