WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
dis•perse /dɪˈspɝs/USA pronunciation   v., -persed, -pers•ing. 
  1. to (cause to) separate and move in different directions;
    (cause to) become scattered: [no object]The crowd dispersed when the police arrived.[+ object]The riot police dispersed the crowd.
  2. [+ object] to spread widely; disseminate:The seeds were dispersed on the plowed land.
  3. to (cause to) vanish: [no object]When the sun came out, the fog dispersed.[+ object]The wind dispersed the fog.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
dis•perse  (di spûrs), 
v., -persed, -pers•ing, adj. 

  • to drive or send off in various directions; scatter:to disperse a crowd.
  • to spread widely; disseminate:to disperse knowledge.
  • to dispel;
    cause to vanish:The wind dispersed the fog.
  • Chemistry[Physical Chem.]to cause (particles) to separate uniformly throughout a solid, liquid, or gas.
  • Optics[Optics.]to subject (light) to dispersion.

  • v.i. 
  • to separate and move apart in different directions without order or regularity; become scattered:The crowd dispersed.
  • to be dispelled;
    be scattered out of sight;
    vanish:The smoke dispersed into the sky.

  • adj. 
  • Chemistry[Physical Chem.]noting the dispersed particles in a dispersion.
  • Etymology:
    • Latin dispersus (past participle of dispergere), equivalent. to di- di-2 + -sper(g)- scatter (stem of -spergere, combining form of spargere to scatter, strew) + -sus past participle suffix
    • Middle French disperser)
    • Middle English dispersen, disparsen ( 1350–1400
    dis•persed•ly  (di spûrsid lē), 
    dis•perser, n. 
    dis•pers′i•bili•ty, n. 
    dis•persi•ble, adj. 
    1 . combine, collect.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    disperse /dɪˈspɜːs/ vb
    1. to scatter; distribute over a wide area
    2. to dissipate or cause to dissipate
    3. to leave or cause to leave a gathering, often in a random manner
    4. to separate or be separated by dispersion
    5. (transitive) to diffuse or spread (news, information, etc)
    6. to separate (particles) throughout a solid, liquid, or gas, as in the formation of a suspension or colloid
    1. of or consisting of the particles in a colloid or suspension: disperse phase
    Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin dispērsus scattered, from dispergere to scatter widely, from di-² + spargere to strew

    disˈperser n USAGE

    'disperse' also found in these entries:

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