Synonym Chooser

How does the verb dispel differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of dispel are disperse, dissipate, and scatter. While all these words mean "to cause to separate or break up," dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering.

an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt

When would disperse be a good substitute for dispel?

While in some cases nearly identical to dispel, disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group.

police dispersed the crowd

When could dissipate be used to replace dispel?

The words dissipate and dispel can be used in similar contexts, but dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance.

the fog was dissipated by the morning sun

When might scatter be a better fit than dispel?

The meanings of scatter and dispel largely overlap; however, scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions.

the bowling ball scattered the pins

Thesaurus Entries Near dispel

Cite this Entry

“Dispel.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dispel. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on dispel

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