Definition of disperse in English:


Syllabification: dis·perse
Pronunciation: /disˈpərs


[with object]
  • 1Distribute or spread over a wide area: storms can disperse seeds via high altitudes camping sites could be dispersed among trees so as to be out of sight
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    • Suburban office and industrial parks and shopping centers competed successfully with central business districts, dispersing economic activity over wide areas.
    • The heat from the fire causes the pine cones to explode, dispersing seed over a wide area.
    • When confronted with those distributions, many of us probably reason that some species indeed are dispersed over a wide area on the wintering grounds.
  • 1.1Go or cause to go in different directions or to different destinations: [no object]: the crowd dispersed [with object]: the police used tear gas to disperse the protesters
    More example sentences
    • Once they were through clapping, the crowd dispersed into different directions.
    • Interior minister Francois Boko said soldiers had fired warning shots to disperse a crowd of protesters who had surrounded their vehicle in the neighbourhood of Be, an opposition stronghold.
    • A handful of local people get off the bus, dispersing in different directions.
    break up, split up, disband, scatter, leave, go their separate ways; drive away/off, chase away
  • 1.2(With reference to gas, smoke, mist, or cloud) thin out or cause to thin out and disappear: [no object]: the earlier mist had dispersed [with object]: winds dispersed the bomb’s radioactive cloud high in the atmosphere
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    • The sun had gone, I was too late in the day, and the mist had risen and dispersed, coating the sky an even grey.
    • Aerobic activities like cross-country skiing demand thin layers that rapidly disperse sweat and body heat - keeping you cool, not warm.
    • The location could not have been better: within easy reach of Washington, yet protected by the Allegheny mountains and with prevailing winds from Canada to disperse any radiation.
    dissipate, dissolve, melt away, fade away, clear, lift
  • 1.3 Physics Divide (light) into constituents of different wavelengths.
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    • A flat slab of the stuff would focus light, rather than dispersing it, as normal materials would.
    • Light at each end of the optical spectrum is dispersed by a different amount, since the refractive index of any medium depends on frequency.
    • When a source (such as the sun) gives off light, that light can be dispersed into a rainbow spectrum by a prism or diffraction grating.
  • 1.4 Chemistry Distribute (small particles) uniformly in a medium.
    More example sentences
    • When polymer latexes are mixed with fresh cement grout, the polymer particles are uniformly dispersed in the cement paste phase.
    • The aggregates are subjected to ultrasonic wave irradiation or shear stress with a homogenizer to give more uniformly dispersed composite particles.
    • A solution is a homogenous mixture of two or more substances in which the particles are completely dispersed.


[attributive] Chemistry Back to top  
  • Denoting a phase dispersed in another phase, as in a colloid: emulsions should be examined after storage for droplet size of the disperse phase
    More example sentences
    • The particles are referred to as the disperse phase while the other phase is termed the dispersion medium or continuous phase.
    • Technically, the liquid which forms droplets is known as the disperse phase, and the liquid in which these drops are scattered is known as the dispersion medium.
    • The colloidal particles of the disperse phase are equivalent to the solute of a solution and the continuous phase is equivalent to the solvent.



More example sentences
  • Many juveniles (mainly short-distance dispersers; data not shown) made exploratory trips before dispersal, usually of distances of less than 1 km from the birth site.
  • In particular, they may attract a diverse array of seed dispersers by offering an essential, but scarce micronutrient.
  • I ranked the fatness of dispersers (in the year before they dispersed) and the fatness of other workers of similar length in the colonies from which they dispersed.


More example sentences
  • It is especially common in soils that have high expansion rates and/or highly dispersible clay minerals, and in locations which experience intense sequences of wet and dry periods.
  • He has huge quantities of a nasty and virulent form of the anthrax virus, and is currently engaged in further developing the more easily dispersible and effective dry micro-powder forms.
  • To minimize this problem, chemical companies developed the dry flowable and water dispersible granular formulations.


More example sentences
  • This signal at extended wavelengths outside of absorbance bands is characteristic of the dispersive part of differential light scattering.
  • Reduce the risk of chemical bums by preventing antiseptic agents from pooling under the patient, electrosurgical unit dispersive pad, electrodes, or pneumatic tourniquets.
  • It is clear from our studies that although dispersive light scattering perturbs band intensities, neither absorption flattening nor differential scattering is sufficient to account for these changes.


late Middle English: from Latin dispers- 'scattered', from the verb dispergere, from dis- 'widely' + spargere 'scatter, strew'.

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