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

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 The bill would provide benefits for veterans who served in blue water Navy during the Vietnam War, when naval ships transported Agent Orange for dispersal in Vietnam. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Rep. Joe Courtney Talks At Chamber Breakfast," 11 July 2018 Then, just a couple months before the season, the Blazers landed power forward Maurice Lucas and guard Dave Twardzik in the ABA dispersal draft. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "NBA superteams haven't won all the championships: 5 surprise winners," 9 July 2018 That map says a lot about the dispersal of postgraduate Chinese immigrants across the country—in each of these cities Chen has teamed up with former schoolmates, many of whom are hanging on to their day jobs. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "All hail Hunanese dry hot pot at Sizzling Pot King," 5 July 2018 But their fundamental labor dispersal event, the showcase night for the whole league, sits on this shaky foundation of this inherently un-American labor practice. Will Leitch, Daily Intelligencer, "The NBA Draft Is Great. It’s Also Totally Un-American.," 20 June 2018 Pistons fans had to wait 3½ hours to take part in the festivities of the league’s annual dispersal of talent. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons add wing depth with Khyri Thomas, Bruce Brown," 22 June 2018 At the same time their dispersal beyond the border states means that much of America has become familiar with Mexican culture. The Economist, "Why America and Mexico are destined to grow even closer," 21 June 2018 The biggest fish have the biggest stomachs, and the largest potential for dispersal. Adam Popescu, National Geographic, "These Fish Keep Forests Alive—And Fishing Threatens Them," 12 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

4 Sep 2018

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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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Comments on dispersal

What made you want to look up dispersal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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