verb dis·sem·i·nate \ di-ˈse-mə-ˌnāt \
Updated on: 8 Mar 2018

Definition of disseminate

disseminated; disseminating
1 : to spread abroad as though sowing seed
  • disseminate ideas
2 : to disperse throughout


play \di-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 CollNew Yorker8 Sept. 2008
  2. Jefferson helped found and back a friendly newspaper, the National Gazette, to help disseminate his views. —Walter KimTime5 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 CohenNew York Times Magazine7 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 Law1994
  5. The Internet allows us to disseminate information faster.

  6. The findings were widely disseminated.

Recent Examples of disseminate from the Web

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

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

DISSEMINATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of disseminate for English Language Learners

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

Seen and Heard

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to denote surfaces in relief on a map

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