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 From here, his illness might dissipate or grow much more severe. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "After Trump’s Coronavirus Diagnosis, What’s His Medical Outlook?," 2 Oct. 2020 These particles should fully dissipate over the next few days. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "After Tanker Collision, Remnants of a Marine F-35B Are Sprinkled Across California," 30 Sep. 2020 The fog should dissipate before noon, then skies clear to mostly sunny. oregonlive, "Portland metro Friday weather: Steady rain, windy; high 65," 25 Sep. 2020 Nighttime fog and clouds slowly dissipate as each day progresses. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Brief shower or storm chances through Saturday. Warmer and muggier early next week.," 25 Sep. 2020 After, Beta will begin losing strength but is expected to retain its structure throughout the week at least until Friday when it is forecast to dissipate. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Tropical system emerges over South Florida as Hurricane Teddy targets Bermuda, TS Beta moves toward Texas," 21 Sep. 2020 And what few showers do develop will all dissipate by sundown. Dallas News, "Rain chances through Thursday," 16 Sep. 2020 Sunday should bring more of the same, the weather service said, though the low clouds might dissipate a little earlier and high temperatures will be a few degrees cooler. oregonlive, "Portland metro Saturday weather: morning fog, mild temps," 3 Oct. 2020 Scientists also are finding that properties in the drug bind with COVID-19 virus cells, which can dissipate the virus. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "COVID Watch: Blood thinners, steroids showing promise to save lives in COVID-19 crisis," 28 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for dissipate

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dissipate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissipate. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for dissipate


How to pronounce dissipate (audio)

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 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 dissipation (audio) \ noun

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