dis·​pers·​al | \ di-ˈspər-səl How to pronounce dispersal (audio) \

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

Reports of an impending police dispersal operation prompted some to walk away by foot. Time Staff, Time, "Protesters Storm Hong Kong International Airport and Disrupt Transport Links," 1 Sep. 2019 Plum Island: Last week produced a healthy mix of early migrants, summer residents, and birds in post-breeding dispersal. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings," 4 Aug. 2019 What enabled it in terms of land bridges or particular routes of dispersal? Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Humans may have reached Europe by 210,000 years ago," 10 July 2019 Such far-flung dispersal is slow, often taking decades. Daniel Ackerman, Anchorage Daily News, "Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost," 8 July 2019 The dispersal was an alarming turn in the standoff between the protesters and the military, which removed President Omar al-Bashir from power in April after a months-long popular uprising against his 30-year rule. Washington Post, "Sudan military leader says perpetrators of crackdown ID’d," 20 June 2019 Protest organizers say security forces killed at least 128 people during that dispersal and subsequent crackdown. NBC News, "Sudanese military, protesters sign power-sharing document," 17 July 2019 Troops under Dagalo’s command led a violent dispersal of demonstrators June 3 that tilted the negotiations in favor of the military. Declan Walsh, BostonGlobe.com, "Military and Civilian Leaders in Sudan Inch Forward With Political Deal," 17 July 2019 Protest organizers say security forces killed at least 128 people during the dispersal and subsequent crackdown. Fay Abuelgasim And Samy Magdy, SFChronicle.com, "Sudan activists call for justice for slain protesters," 13 July 2019

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

16 Oct 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 How to pronounce dispersal (audio) \

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

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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