Synonyms & Antonyms of disperse

1 to go off in different directions and cease to exist as a body or unified whole
  • the crowd dispersed once the show ended

Synonyms for disperse

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2 to cause (members of a group) to move widely apart
  • the family of the missing woman dispersed searchers to all corners of the national park

Synonyms for disperse

Words Related to disperse

Near Antonyms for disperse

Antonyms for disperse

3 to cease to exist or cause to cease to exist as a group or organization
  • the campaign staff dispersed almost immediately after the election

Synonyms for disperse

Words Related to disperse

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Antonyms for disperse

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Frequently Asked Questions About disperse

How does the verb disperse differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of disperse are dispel, dissipate, and scatter. While all these words mean "to cause to separate or break up," disperse implies a wider separation and a complete breaking up of a mass or group.

police dispersed the crowd

When can dispel be used instead of disperse?

Although the words dispel and disperse have much in common, dispel stresses a driving away or getting rid of as if by scattering.

an authoritative statement that dispelled all doubt

When could dissipate be used to replace disperse?

The meanings of dissipate and disperse largely overlap; however, dissipate stresses complete disintegration or dissolution and final disappearance.

the fog was dissipated by the morning sun

When would scatter be a good substitute for disperse?

The words scatter and disperse can be used in similar contexts, but scatter implies a force that drives parts or units irregularly in many directions.

the bowling ball scattered the pins

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Time Traveler for disperse

Time Traveler

The first known use of disperse was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Disperse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disperse

Nglish: Translation of disperse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disperse for Arabic Speakers


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