dis·​sem·​i·​nate | \ di-ˈse-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce disseminate (audio) \
disseminated; disseminating

Essential Meaning of disseminate

formal : to cause (something, such as information) to go to many people The Internet allows us to disseminate information/news/ideas faster. The findings were widely disseminated.

Full Definition of disseminate

transitive verb

1 : to spread abroad as though sowing seed disseminate ideas
2 : to disperse throughout

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Other Words from disseminate

disseminator \ -​ˈse-​mə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce disseminate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disseminate


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Disseminating Information on Disseminate

While the object of the verb disseminate may be something tangible, such as an infectious agent, nowadays the thing most often disseminated, or "spread abroad as though sowing seed," is information. Where does this metaphorical verb come from? In Latin, the dis- prefix signifies separation or dispersal, while the -sem- element springs from semen "seed." The same Latin noun is found in a number of other English words with figurative meanings: seminary (which now is a training facility for priests, but initially was a place where seeds were raised to plants), seminal (meaning "containing the seeds of later development"), and yes, the word semen.

Examples of disseminate in a Sentence

He told me that as Commanding General [General David Petraeus] he believes he should not only direct battlefield action but also disseminate a few easy-to-grasp concepts about the war's prosecution, which subordinate officers can then interpret on their own. — Steve Coll, New Yorker, 8 Sept. 2008 Jefferson helped found and back a friendly newspaper, the National Gazette, to help disseminate his views. — Walter Kim, Time, 5 July 2004 In this case, the filmmakers did not prevent information from being disseminated. And they have no greater moral obligation than do the highly paid Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather to help a TV network keep down its costs. — Randy Cohen, New York Times Magazine, 7 Oct. 2001 Although possession of virus software and source code is not illegal, many of the existing state and federal computer intrusion and unauthorized access laws already make it illegal to introduce a virus into someone's system intentionally. Robert Morris's conviction … shows how the existing laws might be used to punish those involved with disseminating viruses. — Edward A. Cavazos et al., Cyberspace And The Law, 1994 The Internet allows us to disseminate information faster. The findings were widely disseminated.
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Recent Examples on the Web This season, though, the writing drips with more poison, and the cast seems to relish more than ever the opportunity to disseminate its toxins. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 12 Oct. 2021 For a brief period of years before this, Jews were able to disseminate material in Hebrew. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 9 Oct. 2021 Some see it as a pioneer, willing and able to try new things and disseminate what works to others across Texas. Talia Richman, Dallas News, 27 Sep. 2021 The brand is aiming to not only provide topical acne solutions but also enlist health experts to disseminate skincare education to Rosen’s large social following. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 17 Aug. 2021 As a non-profit advocacy group representing 90% of the nation’s rural hospitals, the NRHA has worked to study and develop effective vaccine messaging strategies to disseminate to communities, particularly through local healthcare providers. Andrew J. Yawn, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2021 Meanwhile, Fauci has been collaborating with Instagram influencers to disseminate information about vaccines to a wider, younger audience. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2021 In Miami, Katherine Quirk and her fiancé, Russ Schwartz, started a Facebook group in January to disseminate information about vaccine availability in their area. New York Times, 28 Feb. 2021 At a higher level, Trump’s use of Twitter to get around the traditional news media raises questions about what the government should be able to disseminate directly to people on social media. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, 7 Jan. 2021

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

1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disseminate

Latin disseminatus, past participle of disseminare, from dis- + seminare to sow, from semin-, semen seed — more at semen

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Time Traveler for disseminate

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The first known use of disseminate was in 1566

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disseminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disseminate. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disseminate

Nglish: Translation of disseminate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disseminate for Arabic Speakers


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