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 Released on Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend, the Biden Administration hoped that any smoke emanating from the 2022 budget fire would easily dissipate by Tuesday, when everyone returns. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 31 May 2021 The only exceptions are cases of clear emergencies or if there’s a concern that evidence of abuse could dissipate. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2021 Olsen believes that much of the criticism of Proctorio will dissipate once in-person learning resumes. Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Yorker, 27 May 2021 They were also supported by supply bottlenecks that many view as fixable and robust consumer demand that could dissipate once households have spent government stimulus checks. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, 23 May 2021 But well before New Yorkers’ fears could dissipate, the NYPD abruptly terminated its lease and quit using the robot last month. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 7 May 2021 If Minnesota had magically reached a 75% vaccination rate on that date, the modeling suggested that viral activity and hospital usage would quickly dissipate. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, 16 Apr. 2021 Moreover, prominent Democrats worry that their fundraising advantage could dissipate in 2022 without Trump in the White House to convince liberal donors to open their checkbooks. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 7 Apr. 2021 The aggressively hostile jump scares elicit few jolts as the attire of practical and graphics-generated effects blink too overtly for notice, only to quickly dissipate once seen. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissipate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissipate. Accessed 15 Jun. 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


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