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 This demand may dissipate somewhat over the coming year, moderating inflationary pressure. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "The Permanent Truth About Temporary Inflation," 22 Apr. 2021 Unless the expertise – and the culture – are spread, the excellence that propelled growth can dissipate. Robert Sher, Forbes, "How Midsized Companies Can Launch Powerful Mentoring Programs," 21 Apr. 2021 But the frost will dissipate early Sunday morning as the region begins to see warmer weather heading into the week ahead. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland metro Saturday weather: Early showers to give way to clear skies, warmer weather coming next week," 10 Apr. 2021 Through Tonight: The few clouds of the day will tend to dissipate. Washington Post, "PM Update: Cold winds and clear skies tonight into Friday," 4 Mar. 2021 So let the stress wash over you and dissipate like the sweet steam off a fresh mug of hot chocolate. CNN Underscored, "Running out of time for holiday shopping? Sam’s Club has got you covered — safely," 19 Dec. 2020 As the turbulence caused by the Coronavirus begins to dissipate, a great deal of data collection and analysis will be required to identify and reduce return costs. Greg Petro, Forbes, "Online Retail’s Hidden Post-Covid Cost: Returns," 2 Mar. 2021 Notably, for lower-income consumers, that spending didn’t dissipate after the stimulus checks ran out this summer. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "The Coronavirus-Era Shopping Response to a Downturn: Trade Up," 16 Dec. 2020 But if smell comes from molecules entering our noses, why do some fragrances quickly dissipate while others stick around? Dan Seitz, Popular Science, "Master odor removal with a little help from science," 10 Mar. 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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Statistics for dissipate

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissipate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissipate. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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 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

Comments on dissipate

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