dis·​ser·​ta·​tion | \ˌdi-sər-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of dissertation 

: an extended usually written treatment of a subject specifically : one submitted for a doctorate wrote her dissertation on an obscure 16th-century poet

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dissertation

dissertational \ -​ˈtāsh-​nəl , -​ˈtā-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of dissertation in a Sentence

He wrote his dissertation on an obscure 16th-century poet.

Recent Examples on the Web

Harms thinks there is more wrong with the 2016 study than accidentally paraphrasing the wrong dissertation. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Acting like a psychopath is great for male CEOs, not so much for women," 26 Oct. 2018 The school’s library has no record of a dissertation, and a spokeswoman for the school couldn’t confirm his attendance or a degree after searches by his name, hometown and birthdate. Patricia Kowsmann, WSJ, "The $500 Million Central Bank Heist—and How It Was Foiled," 3 Oct. 2018 Future Nobel laureate Robert Solow was his dissertation adviser. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Francis M. Bator, at 92; economic adviser to LBJ had taught at Harvard Kennedy School," 22 Mar. 2018 Last spring, the former doctoral student filed a complaint against the professor who had been her adviser and co-chair of her dissertation committee, who is still at UC Berkeley. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, "Report finds past harassment by UC professor, but punishment lags," 22 May 2018 King completed his academic requirements at BU in 1953 and began working on his doctoral dissertation. Meghan E. Irons, BostonGlobe.com, "Martin Luther King Jr. honed his command of the pulpit in Roxbury," 31 Mar. 2018 The hackers used stolen account credentials to access university professors' accounts and allegedly stole journals, dissertations and electronic books in science and technology, engineering, medical and other fields. Joseph Tanfani, latimes.com, "U.S. accuses Iran of long scheme to hack into U.S. universities, governments," 23 Mar. 2018 His official biography lists a Ph.D. completed with a dissertation on how to finance renewable-energy projects. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "New Turkish Finance Minister Vows to Fight Inflation," 13 July 2018 Ashley Volion, 34, works part time at the Advocacy Center of Louisiana and is currently working on her dissertation in disabilities studies. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Vulnerable Louisiana Medicaid recipients fear worst-case budget scenario," 9 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dissertation.' 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 dissertation

1651, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dissertation

Share dissertation

Statistics for dissertation

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dissertation

The first known use of dissertation was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dissertation



English Language Learners Definition of dissertation

: a long piece of writing about a particular subject that is done to earn an advanced degree at a university

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dissertation

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

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

Dictionary Devil

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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