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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disseminate

disseminator \ -​ˈse-​mə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce disseminator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disseminate

Synonyms

broadcast, circulate, propagate, spread

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Securities and Exchange Commission efforts to sanction stockbrokers for disseminating false statements to clients. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court Sides With SEC in Broker False Statements Case," 27 Mar. 2019 Finally, America should redouble its resolve to find and fund innovative means of disseminating independent news and ideas in China. Orville Schell And Larry Diamond, WSJ, "China Gets Its Message to Americans but Doesn’t Want to Reciprocate," 21 Dec. 2018 According to Time, the police worked with the press to disseminate information in the hopes of obtaining leads, but all law enforcement ended up getting were false confessions, all of which were eventually debunked. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The True Story of I Am the Night: How the Black Dahlia and George Hodel Were Connected," 10 Feb. 2019 To disseminate these new units — to make sure that everyone in the world understood them — the inventors of the metric system decided to create physical objects to embody and define them. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The world is about to redefine the kilogram," 15 Nov. 2018 It is then disseminated out to the broader membership, believed to number several million, before spreading to others officially or through conversations or around-the-water-cooler sorts of ways. Washington Post, "Ahead of Trump summit, Kim Jong Un crafts a careful message," 17 May 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disseminate

Statistics for disseminate

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disseminate

The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disseminate

disseminate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disseminate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on disseminate

What made you want to look up disseminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!