dis·​sem·​i·​nate | \ di-ˈse-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce disseminate (audio) \
disseminated; disseminating

Definition of disseminate

transitive verb

1 : to spread abroad as though sowing seed disseminate ideas
2 : to disperse throughout

Other Words from disseminate

disseminator \ -​ˈse-​mə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce disseminate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disseminate


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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.

Examples of disseminate in a Sentence

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 Jefferson helped found and back a friendly newspaper, the National Gazette, to help disseminate his views. — Walter Kim, Time, 5 July 2004 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 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 The Internet allows us to disseminate information faster. The findings were widely disseminated. See More
Recent Examples on the Web There is a major risk that the impediments to international scientific collaboration will further increase, further harming data sharing, the quality of research and the ability to disseminate results that contributing to solving problems. Tommy Shih, The Conversation, 13 July 2022 Still, Van Tatenhove stressed, the group should be considered dangerous because of its ability to widely disseminate violent messaging and radicalize followers. Hannah Allam, Washington Post, 12 July 2022 Release information such as roadmaps and whitepapers to disseminate information and give your community some input on events or activities. Sundance Monty Brennan, Forbes, 29 June 2022 However, political and ideological views and the right to disseminate and organize around those views — no matter how noxious — are protected by the Constitution up to the point those actions spur violence or other crimes. Jonathan Blanks, The Week, 14 Jan. 2022 The emergency alert system, called Raptor, was implemented by Uvalde’s school district in February 2022 to disseminate information about on-campus or nearby police activity. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, 20 July 2022 By releasing information on social media, police could efficiently disseminate information to the public and avoid having to hold multiple interviews with different media outlets. Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Online, 5 June 2022 Russian law often prohibited direct participation in these sales, but Moscow routinely encouraged the transactions as a way to disseminate its products. Brett Forrest, WSJ, 16 June 2022 NetChoice says the law, which took effect earlier this month, would effectively force social media platforms to disseminate dangerous content, including propaganda, hate speech and threats of violence, in violation of their First Amendment rights. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 31 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of disseminate

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disseminate

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

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The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disseminate

Nglish: Translation of disseminate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disseminate for Arabic Speakers


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