from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To drive off or scatter in different directions: The police dispersed the crowd.
- transitive v. To strew or distribute widely: The airplane dispersed the leaflets over the city.
- transitive v. To cause to vanish or disappear. See Synonyms at scatter.
- transitive v. To disseminate (knowledge, for example).
- transitive v. To separate (light) into spectral rays.
- transitive v. To distribute (particles) evenly throughout a medium.
- intransitive v. To separate and move in different directions; scatter: The crowd dispersed once the concert ended.
- intransitive v. To break up and vanish; dissipate: The storm clouds had dispersed by noon.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To scatter in different directions
- v. To break up and disappear; to dissipate
- v. To disseminate
- v. To separate rays of light etc. according to wavelength; to refract
- v. To distribute throughout
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To scatter abroad; to drive to different parts; to distribute; to diffuse; to spread.
- transitive v. To scatter, so as to cause to vanish; to dissipate.
- intransitive v. To separate; to go or move into different parts; to vanish
- intransitive v. To distribute wealth; to share one's abundance with others.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To scatter; separate and send off or drive in different directions; cause to separate in. different directions: as, to disperse a crowd.
- To distribute; dispense.
- To diffuse; spread.
- To make known; publish.
- To dissipate; cause to vanish: as, the fog is dispersed.
- Synonyms and
- Dispel, Scatter, etc. See dissipate.
- To distribute, deal ont, disseminate, sow broadcast.
- To separate and move apart in different directions without order or regularity; become scattered: as, the company dispersed at 10 o'clock.
- To become diffused or spread; spread.
- To vanish by diffusion; be scattered out of sight.
- Scattered; dispersed.
- n. One who or that which disperses: as, a disperser of libels.
- In optics, to refract by amounts which vary with the wave-length of the refracted ray; separate a composite beam of light, into its components, forming a spectrum. See dispersion, 3.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. separate (light) into spectral rays
- v. cause to separate
- v. cause to become widely known
- v. distribute loosely
- v. to cause to separate and go in different directions
- v. move away from each other
Middle English dispersen, from Old French disperser, from Latin dispergere, dispers-, to disperse : dis-, apart; see dis- + spargere, to scatter.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French disperser, from Latin dispersus, past participle of dispergere ("to scatter abroad, disperse"), from dis- ("apart") + spargere ("to scatter"); see sparse. (Wiktionary)