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 Often times the process is slower and fails to properly disseminate information in communities of color. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 8 Apr. 2022 Two women in Paris, stylist Anastasiia Gutnyk and former Vogue Ukraine editor Sonia Kvasha of Baby Productions, have both been working to disseminate useful information among their friends, family, and broader circles. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 1 Mar. 2022 These easy-to-read and even easier-to-share carousels were initially created by scholars and activists to disseminate information without mainstream media’s racist bias. Zeahaa Rehman, refinery29.com, 16 Feb. 2022 Fairfax County police spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, said on Friday that Fairfax County police held a Zoom meeting on Monday with 15 police regional agencies to disseminate information about Robinson in an effort to locate any other victims. Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2022 The goal of the evening was to not only to disseminate that background information to the audience, but also to let the public know that Dent is in the process of compiling her research — and that of others — into a book to be published. Sue Ellen Ross, chicagotribune.com, 23 Mar. 2022 Russian expertise in using the Internet and social media to disseminate disinformation could easily be turned against machine-learning models that, like other investors, turn to the Internet to try to gauge market sentiment. Richard Vanderford, WSJ, 22 Mar. 2022 An adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry who works to disseminate information about the course of the war urged Ukrainians to share the video with friends and relatives in Russia. Andrew Selsky, ajc, 18 Mar. 2022 The context for Pfyl’s description isn’t clear from the order, which also references an effort to use the media to quietly disseminate Google’s point of view about unionized tech workplaces. Caitlin Harrington, Wired, 10 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for disseminate

Time Traveler

The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

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Last Updated

2 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 18 May. 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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