Definition of dispersion in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈspəːʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action or process of distributing things or people over a wide area: some seeds rely on birds for dispersion
More example sentences
  • Without such advances in logistics and supply capability, regional market integration through subdivision and dispersion of production processes will not be cost effective.
  • Realizing that things are in the process of liquidation, dispersion beckons.
  • The company later expanded into various other chemical fields, mainly polymer dispersion and process chemicals.
1.1The state of being dispersed: the study looks at the dispersion of earnings with OECD member countries
More example sentences
  • The high copy number and general dispersion of retrotransposons throughout the genome, as well as the large local change caused by their insertion, provide an excellent basis for the development of DNA-based markers.
  • A number of subsequent studies have examined the relationship of employment performance and earnings dispersion with less clear-cut results than implied in the Jobs Study.
  • Sweden saw a reversal of strong earlier declines in inequality and in the United Kingdom a century of near-stability in earnings dispersion gave way to a sharp increase.
1.2 Ecology The pattern of distribution of individuals within a habitat.
Example sentences
  • ‘Assignments’ and ‘misassignments’ of individuals were then examined to discern possible dispersion and migration patterns.
  • The chromosomal location, patterns of genomic dispersion, and copy numbers of its tandemly arranged units varied between the species.
  • The pattern of dispersion of a population and thus local densities often reflects responses of individuals to structural attributes of the habitat.
1.3 (also the Dispersion) another term for diaspora.
Example sentences
  • The outsiders guess that Jesus ‘intends to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks’, but in fact they do not know what he means when he says ‘Whither I am going you cannot come’.
  • The history of Jewish dispersion has led to the outstanding diversity of the Jewish people, who have settled in countries as disparate as Morocco, Cuba, and Australia.
  • The Arab dispersion came about piecemeal, through the ebb and flow of war.
1.4 [count noun] A mixture of one substance dispersed in another medium: the virus is transmitted in the dispersion of droplets which results from sneezing or coughing
More example sentences
  • Lubricating greases are usually petroleum oils thickened with dispersions of soap; synthetic oils with soap or inorganic thickeners; or oils containing silicon-based dispersions.
  • Separate cationic and anionic lipid dispersions were prepared.
  • As a leading supplier of products for the construction industry, BASF develops, produces and markets polymer dispersions based on acrylates, styrene and butadiene.
2 Physics The separation of white light into colours or of any radiation according to wavelength.
Example sentences
  • The lime-resolved spectra were globally analyzed with a fitting program described by van Stokkum et al., which also corrects for group velocity dispersion in the white light continuum.
  • Although it has long been known that a rainbow is produced by the dispersion of white light through rain droplets via refraction, there is far more to this optical phenomenon than first meets the eye.
  • Because a negative refractive index implies dispersion, and thus a certain degree of loss, perfect lens operation is not feasible.
3 Statistics The extent to which values of a variable differ from a fixed value such as the mean.
Example sentences
  • Wide dispersion of the data suggests diverging distributary channels.
  • Development of improved models to predict field-scale dispersion is a continuing area of research.
  • We then consider the extent to which differences in household lifetime financial resources explain the wide dispersion in wealth, given lifetime earnings.


Late Middle English: from late Latin dispersio(n-), from Latin dispergere (see disperse).

Words that rhyme with dispersion

animadversion, aspersion, assertion, aversion, bioconversion, Cistercian, coercion, conversion, desertion, disconcertion, diversion, emersion, excursion, exertion, extroversion, immersion, incursion, insertion, interspersion, introversion, Persian, perversion, submersion, subversion, tertian, version

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis¦per|sion

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