intersperse

verb
in·​ter·​sperse | \ ˌin-tər-ˈspərs How to pronounce intersperse (audio) \
interspersed; interspersing

Definition of intersperse

transitive verb

1 : to place something at intervals in or among intersperse a book with pictures
2 : to insert at intervals among other things interspersing drawings throughout the text

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Other Words from intersperse

interspersion \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈspər-​zhən How to pronounce interspersion (audio) , -​shən \ noun

Did You Know?

Intersperse derives from Latin interspersus, formed by combining the familiar prefix inter- ("between or among") with "sparsus," the past participle of spargere, meaning "to scatter." In "sparsus" one finds an ancestor to our adjective "sparse," as well as a relative of "spark." (The relationship of "spark" to a word that describes something being scattered about makes sense when you think of sparks bursting or scattering off a flame.) "Intersperse" is often followed by the preposition "with," as in "a straggling street of comfortable white and red houses, interspersed with abundant shady trees." (H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds)

Examples of intersperse in a Sentence

You should intersperse these pictures evenly throughout the book. Some seagulls were interspersed among the ducks.

Recent Examples on the Web

Their old and new footage is interspersed between different '70s-style pop-art vignettes, along with John's many album covers, promotional posters and occasional shots of the pair recording the song in the studio. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Elton John & Taron Egerton Release Colorful '(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again' Video: Watch," 13 June 2019 Several videos meant to either educate the trainees or spark discussion were interspersed throughout the lesson plan. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "What actually happens in bias training seminars?," 11 June 2019 Plenty of toe-tapping music is interspersed throughout the comedy and gore. F. Kathleen Foley, latimes.com, "Review: For John C. Reilly, it's time to ‘Gather’ at Pasadena Playhouse," 7 June 2019 Now, scientists report, these fingertip-size spiders may also rely on super black patches, interspersed between their technicolor hues, to dazzle the ladies. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "How peacock spiders use optical illusions to woo females," 22 May 2019 Marina Bay Sands Snapshots of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks are interspersed between many scenes. Christina Liao, Vogue, "Crazy Rich Asians," 8 Aug. 2018 Those brightest bright peaks are interspersed at regular intervals with less bright peaks, reflecting primes that are separated by multiples of six on the number line. Quanta Magazine, "A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern," 14 May 2018 Tama, they are called, and in every chapel into which one wanders they are interspersed among candles lit to draw the saints’ attention to them. Adam Gopnik, Town & Country, "My First Visit to the Greek Islands Turned Out to Be a Journey Home," 20 May 2019 The mixture of Australian art and books, interspersed on the shelves with Chinese jades, was a harmonious blend of his taste and that of his then-wife, Wendi Deng. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "Billion Dollar Divorces: What Happens When the Super Wealthy Risk Everything for Love on the Down-Low," 10 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intersperse.' 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 intersperse

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intersperse

Latin interspersus interspersed, from inter- + sparsus, past participle of spargere to scatter — more at spark

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Statistics for intersperse

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intersperse

The first known use of intersperse was in 1566

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More Definitions for intersperse

intersperse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of intersperse

: to put (something) at different places among other things
: to put things at different places within (something)

intersperse

verb
in·​ter·​sperse | \ ˌin-tər-ˈspərs How to pronounce intersperse (audio) \
interspersed; interspersing

Kids Definition of intersperse

1 : to put (something) here and there among other things The publisher interspersed pictures throughout the book.
2 : to put things at various places in or among Sunshine was interspersed with clouds.

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