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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
dis•perse /dɪˈspɜrs/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. to spread widely;
    disseminate:[+ object]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 © 2016
dis•perse  (di spûrs),USA pronunciation v.,  -persed, -pers•ing, adj. 
  1. to drive or send off in various directions; scatter:to disperse a crowd.
  2. to spread widely;
    disseminate:to disperse knowledge.
  3. to dispel;
    cause to vanish:The wind dispersed the fog.
  4. Chemistry[Physical Chem.]to cause (particles) to separate uniformly throughout a solid, liquid, or gas.
  5. Opticsto subject (light) to dispersion.

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

  1. Chemistry[Physical Chem.]noting the dispersed particles in a dispersion.
dis•persed•ly  (di spûrsid lē),USA pronunciation adv.  dis•perser, n. 
dis•pers′i•bili•ty, n. 
dis•persi•ble, adj. 
  • 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
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See  scatter. 
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged sow, broadcast.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged disappear, evanesce.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged 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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