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

dissemination \ di-​ˌse-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce dissemination (audio) \ noun
disseminator \ -​ˈse-​mə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce disseminator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disseminate

Synonyms

broadcast, circulate, propagate, spread

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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

Americans were shocked by the book’s revelations that German agent George Sylvester Viereck disseminated propaganda against American intervention in the war, prior to Pearl Harbor, with the use of congressional franking privileges. Bradley W. Hart, WSJ, "Five Best: Bradley W. Hart on the War Before World War II," 18 Jan. 2019 The company’s lawsuit filed a year ago alleges the environmental groups disseminated false and misleading information about the project and interfered with its construction. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "Environmental groups fight back against corporate lawsuits," 28 Aug. 2018 Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has kept his opinion to himself, but his staff has disseminated articles critical of the legislation. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Will the Senate Surrender on Criminal Justice?," 4 Dec. 2018 North Dakota tribes have responded to the new voter ID law by forming a coalition, disseminating information, and mobilizing to provide new IDs with residential addresses to their memberships free of charge. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Native Voters Explain Why the Midterms Matter," 2 Nov. 2018 Other officials, including the campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, were involved in directing how and when the money was disseminated to the veterans’ groups, according to emails obtained by the attorney general. New York Times, "Will the Justice Department Investigate the Trump Foundation?," 15 June 2018 Under federal law, methadone can be prescribed and disseminated only at a special methadone clinic. Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF mayor’s bold plan to treat heroin addicts on the street," 16 May 2018 Sandmann’s family had hired RunSwitch, a Kentucky public relations firm with Republican ties, to help craft and disseminate his statement and to navigate the media. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Behind the PR Machine That Helped Change the Nick Sandmann Narrative," 25 Jan. 2019 The leaks, which were mainly disseminated through a Twitter account that the company shut down on Friday, included personal data from Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said government officials. Ruth Bender, WSJ, "In Privacy-Minded Germany, a Massive Leak Strikes the Political Class," 4 Jan. 2019

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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Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for disseminate

The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

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More Definitions for disseminate

disseminate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disseminate

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

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