dispersion

noun
dis·​per·​sion | \di-ˈspər-zhən, -shən\

Definition of dispersion 

1 capitalized, Judaism : diaspora sense 1b

2 : the act or process of dispersing : the state of being dispersed crowd dispersion

3 mathematics : the scattering of the values of a frequency distribution from an average

4 physics : the separation of light into colors by refraction or diffraction with formation of a spectrum also : the separation of radiation (see radiation sense 2) into components in accordance with some varying characteristic (such as energy)

5 chemistry

a : a dispersed (see disperse sense 2c) substance

b : a system (see system sense 1a(2)) consisting of a dispersed substance and the medium in which it is dispersed : colloid sense 2b

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of dispersion in a Sentence

the dispersion of energy from a source

Recent Examples on the Web

Rising inflation has also renewed concerns about a flattening yield curve, which measures the dispersion between shorter-term and longer-term rates. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Fall as Treasury Yields Extend Climb," 4 Oct. 2018 The dispersion of venues is a particular challenge for security, requiring a huge number of personnel to manage everything from traffic to VIP security and terror threats, said Indonesia’s deputy national police chief, Muhammad Syafruddin. Stephen Wright, The Seattle Times, "As Asian Games host, Indonesia has more at stake than sport," 13 Aug. 2018 In terms of dispersion, both the automatic 14 inch, and the semi-automatic 7-inch will have an average mean radius of 400 meters (1,312 feet). Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Army's new machine gun will blast like battle tanks," 19 July 2018 Manifestations of mental illness, such as self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse and problem gambling, all seem to get worse with income dispersion, too. The Economist, "Does inequality cause suicide, drug abuse and mental illness?," 14 June 2018 The combination of Fed rate increases and sluggish inflation should continue to reduce the dispersion between two- and 10-year Treasury yields, Mr. Sullivan said. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "U.S. Government Two-Year Yield Rises to Highest in Almost a Decade," 12 July 2018 The problem is, the dispersion of more than 2,000 migrant children across states like Texas, Maryland, and New York doesn’t appear to follow consent decree. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Separating Children From Parents is Shocking And Inhumane — It Is Also An American Tradition," 22 June 2018 But the researchers identified four broad factors that appeared to affect income mobility, including the size and dispersion of the local middle class. charlotteobserver, "Charlotte’s poor struggle to advance | Charlotte Observer," 16 Apr. 2018 Cillizza: Trump seems to be taking some credit -- along with the Mexican government -- for the dispersion of the caravan? Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The single biggest thing Donald Trump doesn't get about the caravan," 5 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of dispersion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dispersion

see disperse

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dispersion

Share dispersion

Statistics for dispersion

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dispersion

The first known use of dispersion was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dispersion

dispersion

noun
dis·​per·​sion | \dis-ˈpər-zhən, -shən \

Medical Definition of dispersion 

1 : the act or process of dispersing : the state of being dispersed

2 : the separation of light into colors by refraction or diffraction with formation of a spectrum also : the separation of radiation into components in accordance with some varying characteristic (as energy)

3a : a dispersed substance

b : a system consisting of a dispersed substance and the medium in which it is dispersed : colloid sense 2b

called also disperse system

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dispersion

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

WORD OF THE DAY

living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!