dis·​si·​pa·​tion ˌdi-sə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce dissipation (audio)
: the action or process of dissipating : the state of being dissipated:
: dispersion, diffusion
the dissipation of the smoke
the dissipation of enemy forces
: wasteful expenditure
the dissipation of the family's fortune
: intemperate living
especially : excessive drinking
: an act of self-indulgence
lived a life of dissipation
especially : one that is not harmful : amusement

Examples of dissipation in a Sentence

Insulation helps prevent the dissipation of heat from houses in the winter. a movie about the dissipation of a famous heir's fortune He lived a life of dissipation.
Recent Examples on the Web The heatsink uses more metal than the fake for, likely, better heat dissipation. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 9 Nov. 2023 In general, the evolution of all of these systems is also driven by the dissipation of energy. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 17 Oct. 2023 Initially a way to think about heat and the dissipation of energy that makes perpetual motion machines impossible, entropy has evolved to take a central place in information theory. WIRED, 27 Sep. 2023 What to Consider: The hose doesn’t come with an adaptor for larger propane canisters, so you’re locked into using smaller tanks, and the wood lid can’t be used while cooking, which increases the dissipation of heat. Nathan Borchelt, Travel + Leisure, 19 July 2023 Over time dissipation of radioactivity has allowed nature to recover. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 June 2023 Faster bipolar circuitry was considered but rejected because of its high-power dissipation and its cost. IEEE Spectrum, 2 July 2023 Efforts were guided by high-tech and highly accurate meteorological predictions, and aided by the storm’s natural dissipation. Ali Martin, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Aug. 2023 Take last year for instance: Two storms – Alex and Colin – had already impacted the US by this time last year, but Colin’s dissipation was quickly followed by a lengthy inactive stretch where no additional storms formed in July or August. Mary Gilbert, CNN, 10 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dissipation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see dissipate

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dissipation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near dissipation

Cite this Entry

“Dissipation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissipation. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​si·​pa·​tion ˌdis-ə-ˈpā-shən How to pronounce dissipation (audio)
: the action or process of dissipating : the state of being dissipated

More from Merriam-Webster on dissipation

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