dissipate

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

In June, the typical winter cloak of clouds over the polar region should dissipate, leaving the south cap shining brilliantly and undergoing spectacular changes during its rapid springtime thaw. Joe Rao, Space.com, "Mars Makes Its Closest Approach in 15 Years This Summer: How to See It," 29 May 2018 Some executives and analysts have said economic softness would dissipate if the trade issues were resolved. Theo Francis, WSJ, "How Bad Is the China Slowdown? U.S. Companies Offer Some Answers," 11 Feb. 2019 Engineers fixed the Millennium Bridge's swaying issues by retrofitting the structure with 37 energy dissipating dampers to control the horizontal movement, and another 52 inertial dampers to control the vertical movement. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New study sheds more light on what caused Millennium Bridge to wobble," 30 Oct. 2018 These vortices can persist in the water for some time, slowly dissipating. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Military Could Track Objects Underwater With Seal Whiskers," 13 Aug. 2018 In addition, gases escaping into the atmosphere from the volcano present a threat to people who inhale the fumes right there, but those gases dissipate a short distance away from the volcano and cause no additional problems. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Tom: Will Mount Kilauea lava heat the Pacific Ocean enough to affect Chicago weather?," 7 June 2018 But any goodwill dissipated with the March 27 vote to rename the high school as Abington Schwarzman High School — a stipulation that was not disclosed right away. Kathy Boccella, Philly.com, "Apologies and anger at Abington school board meeting," 10 Apr. 2018 While electrical impulses that travel along neurons last only about a millisecond, blood, which fMRI measures as a proxy, arrives on the scene slightly after the fact, and dissipates slowly. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "The Neuroscience of Pain," 9 May 2016 Today, as Ukrainians prepare to vote in Sunday’s presidential election, that revolutionary fervor has dissipated into widespread disillusionment. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "The Revolution That Wasn’t: Disillusioned Ukrainians Head to Polls," 28 Mar. 2019

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

14 May 2019

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

dissipate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dissipate

formal
: 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

dissipate

verb
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.

dissipate

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 dissipation (audio) \ noun

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Comments on dissipate

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