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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Smart devices and gadgets that rely on IoT—such as smart cars, smart microwaves, smart coffee machines, smart thermostats, smart footballs, smart wearable devices, including smartwatches—essentially generate and disseminate new data. Rauf Arif, Forbes, 5 June 2021 The same super-spreader events that contributed to the surge also helped more infectious variants evolve and disseminate in the population, said Dr. Jameel. Saeed Shah, WSJ, 11 May 2021 Community health centers provide state health officials with two significant assets in the effort to quickly disseminate the vaccine to populations that are particularly vulnerable to contracting the virus. Star Tribune, 17 Jan. 2021 Rumble also has powerful backers with deeply conservative views and high-profile right wing influencers who seek to use the site to disseminate factually inaccurate content. Wired Opinion, Wired, 11 May 2021 As part of the Medvedchuk sanctions, Ukraine also blocked the transmission of three television stations that officials say disseminate Russian propaganda and are under his control. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2021 Second, the report calls for a center for monitoring taxing rights that would collect and disseminate national aggregate and detailed data about taxation and tax cooperation worldwide. Nana Ama Sarfo, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021 Operations have already begun in Ghana, where Zipline has four distribution centers and plans to disseminate 2.5 million doses over the next year, and are soon to start in Zipline’s other markets of the United States and Rwanda. Jacob Muñoz, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Apr. 2021 Eufaula Police Chief Steve Watkins said Jeffrey Scott Nolin, 36, has been charged with possession, and possession with intent to disseminate, obscene matter containing visual depictions of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 21 Mar. 2021

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.

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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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Time Traveler for disseminate

Time Traveler

The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

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Statistics for disseminate

Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for disseminate



English Language Learners Definition of disseminate

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


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