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 But to disseminate information about COVID-19 to public authorities as rapidly as possible, scientific journals are under pressure to rush the careful vetting normally required to publish new science. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "A guide to overcoming COVID-19 misinformation," 22 Oct. 2020 Giuliani has long sought to obtain and disseminate dirt on the Bidens. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Fox News passed on chance to break Hunter Biden laptop story over credibility concerns: Report," 19 Oct. 2020 Researchers have made increasing use of preprint databases during the coronavirus pandemic to disseminate information to clinicians quickly. Joseph Walker, WSJ, "WHO-Backed Study Finds No Remdesivir Benefit for Hospitalized Covid-19 Patients," 17 Oct. 2020 With each high-profile assault from the right, the founders disseminate a fresh fund-raising plea. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, "Inside the Lincoln Project’s War Room," 5 Oct. 2020 By remaining independent and partnering with Kering on an expansive new project, Jean-Raymond maintains creative and financial authority over his work, and uses Kering’s backing as an opportunity to further disseminate his ideas. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Kerby Jean-Raymond Teams With Kering to Launch Your Friends in New York," 10 Sep. 2020 Kraus credited Cunningham, who joined the Solon Police Department in 2011, with spending a great deal of time and effort over the years to disseminate information from the department to the public. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Dorm space in Solon’s Fire Station 1 to be renovated with CARES Act funding," 7 Oct. 2020 While the cartels were previously known to utilize aerial capabilities to disseminate drugs over border barriers and conduct surveillance, the recent findings have raised deeper questions over their battle-ready tactics. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "From bomb-affixed drones to narco tanks and ventilated tunnels: How well-equipped are the Mexican cartels?," 24 Sep. 2020 DeVos criticized Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during an interview on the network, and her Department of Education proceeded to disseminate a clip of the appearance via an official department email distribution list. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "The 11 Trump officials under fire for violating the Hatch Act," 23 Sep. 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

9 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for disseminate


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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