dis·​si·​pate | \ ˈdi-sə-ˌpāt How to pronounce dissipate (audio) \
dissipated; dissipating

Essential Meaning of dissipate

1 : to cause (something) to spread out and disappear The morning sun dissipated the fog.
2 : to separate into parts and disappear or go away The fog should dissipate soon. By noon the crowd had dissipated. [=(more commonly) dispersed]
3 : to use all or a lot of (something, such as money or time) in a foolish way He had dissipated [=squandered] his family's fortune in only a few years.

Full 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 The odor is expected to dissipate within five days, said L.A. County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella. Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 Henri is expected to dissipate by Wednesday morning. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, 24 Aug. 2021 But on Friday, the wind shear is expected to dissipate, which will allow Henri to intensify. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, 20 Aug. 2021 Teresa remains poorly organized and is expected to become a remnant by tonight and dissipate on Sunday. Nelly Ontiveros, orlandosentinel.com, 25 Sep. 2021 The hurricane center said Teresa is expected to become a remnant low tonight and dissipate altogether by Sunday. Leigh Morgan, al, 25 Sep. 2021 Tropical Depressions Peter and Rose are weakening and will dissipate over the next few days. Janice Dean, Fox News, 23 Sep. 2021 The awkward atmosphere did not dissipate, however, with the typically garrulous Lee noticeably bashful. CNN, 17 July 2021 As time passes and people keep getting vaccinated, Covid-19 fears will dissipate. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 6 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for dissipate

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissipate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissipate. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dissipate


dis·​si·​pate | \ ˈdi-sə-ˌpāt How to pronounce dissipate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce dissipate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce dissipate (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dissipate

Nglish: Translation of dissipate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dissipate for Arabic Speakers


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