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

Words Related to disperse

Near Antonyms for disperse

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

Near Antonyms for disperse

Antonyms for disperse

See the Dictionary Definition 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disperse

Time Traveler for disperse

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for disperse

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disperse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on disperse

Dictionary: Definition of disperse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disperse

Medical Dictionary: Definition of disperse

Spanish Central: Translation of disperse

Nglish: Translation of disperse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disperse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disperse

What made you want to look up disperse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!