verb dis·sem·i·nate \di-ˈse-mə-ˌnāt\

Definition of disseminate




  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to spread abroad as though sowing seed disseminate ideas

  3. 2 :  to disperse throughout


play \-ˌse-mə-ˈnā-shən\ noun


play \-ˈse-mə-ˌnā-tər\ noun

Examples of disseminate in a Sentence

  1. He told me that as Commanding General [General David Petraeus] he believes he should not only direct battlefield action but also disseminate a few easy-to-grasp concepts about the war's prosecution, which subordinate officers can then interpret on their own. —Steve Coll, New Yorker, 8 Sept. 2008

  2. Jefferson helped found and back a friendly newspaper, the National Gazette, to help disseminate his views. —Walter Kim, Time, 5 July 2004

  3. In this case, the filmmakers did not prevent information from being disseminated. And they have no greater moral obligation than do the highly paid Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather to help a TV network keep down its costs. —Randy Cohen, New York Times Magazine, 7 Oct. 2001

  4. Although possession of virus software and source code is not illegal, many of the existing state and federal computer intrusion and unauthorized access laws already make it illegal to introduce a virus into someone's system intentionally. Robert Morris's conviction … shows how the existing laws might be used to punish those involved with disseminating viruses. —Edward A. Cavazos et al., Cyberspace And The Law, 1994

  5. The Internet allows us to disseminate information faster.

  6. The findings were widely disseminated.

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Disseminating Information on disseminate

While the object of the verb disseminate may be something tangible, such as an infectious agent, nowadays the thing most often disseminated, or "spread abroad as though sowing seed," is information. Where does this metaphorical verb come from? In Latin, the dis- prefix signifies separation or dispersal, while the -sem- element springs from semen "seed." The same Latin noun is found in a number of other English words with figurative meanings: seminary (which now is a training facility for priests, but initially was a place where seeds were raised to plants), seminal (meaning "containing the seeds of later development"), and yes, the word semen.

Origin and Etymology of disseminate

Latin disseminatus, past participle of disseminare, from dis- + seminare to sow, from semin-, semen seed — more at semen

First Known Use: 1566

DISSEMINATE Defined for English Language Learners


verb dis·sem·i·nate \di-ˈse-mə-ˌnāt\

Definition of disseminate for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (something, such as information) to go to many people

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