dis·​per·​sant di-ˈspər-sənt How to pronounce dispersant (audio)
: a dispersing agent
especially : a substance for promoting the formation and stabilization of a dispersion of one substance in another
dispersant adjective

Examples of dispersant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dispersant acts like an oil delivery system, breaking down the crude so the toxic substances can seep through skin. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 30 Sep. 2015 Corexit dispersants used as a band-aid solution by BP to sink and scatter the oil killed marine life, producing mutations in their offspring. Hazlitt, 15 Sep. 2022 By now, more than 650,000 gallons of chemical dispersant have gone into the Gulf of Mexico to try to break up the oil. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 21 May 2010 Clean-up crews skimmed the water’s surface and sprayed Corexit dispersants, but oil still coats the floor of the salt marshes. Hazlitt, 15 Sep. 2022 Toxicity of oil and oil dispersant mixtures to aquatic life. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2014 In addition, officials used 1.8 million gallons of the chemical dispersant Corexit to break up the oil. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 30 Sep. 2015 In order to break up the slick, another 1.84 million gallons of dispersant was added to the mix. Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine, 11 Jan. 2013 Police in dozens of cities have used teargas as a crowd dispersant since George Floyd died under a policeman’s knee in Minneapolis on May 25. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, 10 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dispersant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1941, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dispersant was in 1941

Dictionary Entries Near dispersant

Cite this Entry

“Dispersant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispersant. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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