disseminate

verb
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 disseminator (audio) \ noun

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 Mazeh said violators would be penalized with a one-year suspension and asked the Information Ministry to disseminate the order. Washington Post, "Lebanese judge bans media from interviewing US ambassador," 27 June 2020 Schwitzer cautions journalists and those who disseminate information to take the time to do it right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "Science by press release: When the story gets ahead of the science," 27 June 2020 In previous years, firefighters would gather for communal meals at large tables, and a 7:00 a.m. briefing, but to reduce crowding, Cal Fire plans to disseminate information and meals in shifts. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "COVID-19 complicates an already dire wildfire season," 26 June 2020 My old college friend Namita Dodeja told me that some of her family members were using social media to disseminate fake news that blamed Muslims for the spread of the coronavirus. Khushbu Shah, The Atlantic, "When Your Family Spreads Misinformation," 16 June 2020 Due to privacy laws, the University will not disseminate information regarding specific individuals and their health. Dallas News, "Texas Tech confirms positive coronavirus tests in athletics program," 15 June 2020 Activist groups would announce rallies on social media, and other activists would compile and disseminate the information. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "Protesting Past Curfew in New York City," 4 June 2020 The difference in many cases is that smartphones and social media can capture and disseminate these incidents to help tell stories that were often missed or underreported. Eve M. Hall, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Milwaukee Urban League president calls for improved race relations and more equity for people of color," 2 June 2020 Because these critics presume that this power to disseminate and bestow legitimation upon opinions is enormous, amounting to far more than merely declaring the opinion worth taking seriously. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "When journalists stop believing in debate," 4 June 2020

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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for disseminate

disseminate

verb
How to pronounce disseminate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disseminate

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

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Comments on disseminate

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