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 disseminate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disseminate


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 Second, the report calls for a center for monitoring taxing rights that would collect and disseminate national aggregate and detailed data about taxation and tax cooperation worldwide. Nana Ama Sarfo, Forbes, "The Long Road To A New U.N. Tax Convention," 5 Apr. 2021 Operations have already begun in Ghana, where Zipline has four distribution centers and plans to disseminate 2.5 million doses over the next year, and are soon to start in Zipline’s other markets of the United States and Rwanda. Jacob Muñoz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Drones Are Delivering Covid-19 Vaccines to Underserved Communities," 7 Apr. 2021 Eufaula Police Chief Steve Watkins said Jeffrey Scott Nolin, 36, has been charged with possession, and possession with intent to disseminate, obscene matter containing visual depictions of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Eufaula man faces child pornography charges," 21 Mar. 2021 For instance, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School uses its online registry database to disseminate information about skin manifestations related to Covid-19. Kevin Xu, Forbes, "How The Covid-19 Crisis Will Change Nonprofits Moving Forward," 19 Mar. 2021 White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday the administration is working with several countries to disseminate the message that potential migrants should not come to the border right now, including through State Department radio ads. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "'That's not true': MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan, GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw spar over border claims," 23 Mar. 2021 Social media is another way for health professionals to quickly disseminate information about local resources, last-minute vaccine openings, mask mandates, or policy changes. Laken Brooks, Forbes, "Digital Covid-19 Vaccine Sign-Ups Leave Behind People Without Tech Access," 20 Mar. 2021 At the same time, extremist ideology has spread farther and much more rapidly on social media, and foreign governments like Russia have worked actively to disseminate such thoughts to sow divisions within the United States. New York Times, "Far-Right Groups Are Splintering in Wake of the Capitol Riot," 1 Mar. 2021 Ugwi explains how the tactic to disseminate as much information about Thinknum would eventually land on the lap of an investor or customers that are interested in their work. Tai Tran, Forbes, "Thinknum’s CEO Is Capturing Customers’ Hearts With Grit And Resilience," 2 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler for disseminate

Time Traveler

The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

See more words from the same year

Statistics for disseminate

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disseminate



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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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