dis·​si·​pate | \ˈdi-sə-ˌpāt \
dissipated; dissipating

Definition of dissipate 

transitive verb

1a : to break up and drive off dissipate a crowd

b : to cause to spread thin or scatter and gradually vanish one's sympathy is eventually dissipated— Andrew Feinberg

c physics : to lose (heat, electricity, etc.) irrecoverably

2 : to spend or use up wastefully or foolishly dissipated the family fortune in reckless business ventures

intransitive verb

1 : to break up and scatter or vanish The clouds dissipated and the sun came out. The team's early momentum has dissipated.

2 : to be extravagant or dissolute in the pursuit of pleasure especially : to drink to excess his extended dissipating of the night before

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Other Words from dissipate

dissipater noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dissipate

scatter, disperse, dissipate, dispel mean to cause to separate or break up. scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions. the bowling ball scattered the pins disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group. police dispersed the crowd dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance. the fog was dissipated by the morning sun dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering. an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt

Examples of dissipate in a Sentence

The morning sun dissipated the fog. The fog should dissipate soon.

Recent Examples on the Web

By day three, the swelling and redness had dissipated but my face itched terribly as the top layer peeled away. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "What It’s Actually Like to Get Fraxel Laser Treatment," 21 Nov. 2018 The economy is also expected to get a boost now that uncertainty tied to the North American Free-Trade Agreement has dissipated with an agreement among the U.S., Canada and Mexico on a revised pact. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Energy, Banks Give Boost to Canada GDP in August," 31 Oct. 2018 But in part due to groups like GiveDirectly, and in even larger part due to the success of government programs like Brazil’s Bolsa Familia and Kenya’s cash program for orphans and vulnerable children, that stigma has dissipated. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Giving out cash is a great way to fight poverty. This approach might be even better.," 15 Oct. 2018 The singer's nerves visibly dissipated after the opening number. Emily Zemler, Billboard, "Spandau Ballet Debuts New Singer In London: 'This Is a Rebirth of the Band'," 7 June 2018 Still, the glut of oil that existed three years ago — and that helped offset fears of any geopolitical disruption — largely has dissipated, making the oil market more vulnerable to an unexpected shock. James F. Peltz, latimes.com, "Gas prices at highest level since 2015 amid fears of another oil shock," 13 Apr. 2018 This energy has to go somewhere, and it gets dissipated as heat. Richard Baguley, Ars Technica, "Review: Intel’s 9th Gen Core i9 9900K processor hits 5GHz—just at a price," 17 Nov. 2018 Scientists said a laze plume was blowing inland from the ocean entry but dissipating quickly. CBS News, "Hawaii volcano lava destroys more homes, including Big Island mayor's," 5 June 2018 Patrick Corbin could sense it, too, noticing the pressure that had been building on his teammates suddenly dissipate. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' offense wakes up against Athletics to end 7-game skid," 25 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for dissipate

Latin dissipatus, past participle of dissipare, dissupare, from dis- + supare to throw

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Statistics for dissipate

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dissipate

The first known use of dissipate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for dissipate



English Language Learners Definition of dissipate

: to cause (something) to spread out and disappear

: to separate into parts and disappear or go away

: to use all or a lot of (something, such as money or time) in a foolish way


dis·​si·​pate | \ˈdi-sə-ˌpāt \
dissipated; dissipating

Kids Definition of dissipate

1 : to cause to break up and disappear: disperse The wind dissipated the clouds.

2 : to scatter or waste foolishly : squander He dissipated his saved allowance.


transitive verb
dis·​si·​pate | \ˈdi-sə-ˌpāt \
dissipated; dissipating

Legal Definition of dissipate 

: to use (marital assets) for one's own benefit and to the exclusion of one's spouse for a purpose unrelated to the marriage at a time when the marriage is undergoing an irretrievable breakdown

Other Words from dissipate

dissipation \ˌdi-​sə-​ˈpā-​shən \ noun

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Comments on dissipate

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


a nest or breeding place

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