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

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Examples of dispersion in a Sentence

the dispersion of energy from a source

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Besides looking at the timing and dispersion of each radio burst, the researchers also measured its polarization—the way the burst’s light oscillated up or down, left or right, perpendicular to its direction of travel. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Dead Stars Orbiting Black Holes May Explain Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts," 10 Jan. 2018 This highly uneven dispersion (brown maps) is a surprise. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "Reptiles Are Concentrated in Specific Locations, Often Unprotected," 1 Apr. 2018 But the synagogue soon became the primary link to God, and the dispersion of his people was now theologized as Galut, a repeat of the Babylonian Exile, on a larger and more lasting scale. Dominic Green, WSJ, "‘A History of Judaism’ Review: The Book of Books," 30 Mar. 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.

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First Known Use of dispersion

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dispersion

see disperse

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Last Updated

24 Aug 2018

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

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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

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