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The act or process of dispersing or the condition of being dispersed.


1. the act of dispersing or the condition of being dispersed
2. (Biology) the spread of animals, plants, or seeds to new areas


(dɪˈspɜr ʒən, -ʃən)

1. Also, dispersal. an act or instance of dispersing or a state of being dispersed.
a. the variation of the index of refraction of a transparent substance, as glass, with the wavelength of light.
b. the separation of white or compound light into its respective colors, as in the formation of a spectrum by a prism.
3. the scattering of values of a statistical variable around the mean or median of a distribution.
4. Also called disperse′ sys`tem. a system of dispersed particles suspended in a solid, liquid, or gas.
5. (cap.) Diaspora (def. 1).
[1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin]


Relocation of forces for the purpose of increasing survivability. See also dispersion.


  1. Diffused charm around like an indispensable perfume —Jules Janin, about the woman who served as the role model for The Lady With the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, Fils
  2. (Consciousness) disperses itself like pollen on a spring day —Carlos Fuentes
  3. Dispersed like a broken family —Beryl Markham
  4. Disposed of like a branch or potato sack —Graham Swift
  5. Here and there like teeth in an old man’s mouth —Maxim Gorky
  6. Like the chaff of the summer threshing floors … the wind carried them away —The Holy Bible
  7. Scatter and divide like fleecy clouds self-multiplied —William Wordsworth
  8. Scattered as the seeds of wild grass —Beryl Markham
  9. Scattered [audience across vacant seats in a theatre] as widely as outfielders when the champion batter steps to the plate —O. Henry
  10. [Shadows of doubts and weaknesses] scattered, like a cloud in morning’s breeze —John Greenleaf Whittier
  11. (The rage that had been silent … fired and) scattered like bullets —Belva Plain
  12. Scattered (across the map of the land) like carelessly dropped pennies —George Garrett
  13. Scattered, like chaff in a high wind —Donald Seaman Scatter like confetti —Derek Lambert

    An extension is “To scatter like confetti at a tickertape parade.”

  14. Scattered like dusts and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October seize them —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  15. Scattered like foam along the wave —George Croly
  16. Scattered like foam on the torrent —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  17. Scattered like mown and withered grass —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  18. Scattered like rabbits to a gunshot —Lawrence Durrell
  19. (Spite, malice and jealousy) scattered like spent foam —Iris Murdoch
  20. Scatter like a bucket of water —Erich Maria Remarque
  21. Scatter like balls on a billiard table —Tom Shales, movie review, WNYC Morning Edition Public Radio, March 20, 1987

    In the movie Shales reviewed, it was babies who were thus scattered about.

  22. (The sparrows) scatter like handfuls of gravel —William H. Gass
  23. Scatter like mist before the wind —Kenzaburo Oë

    The descriptive reference point is a feeling of contentment.

  24. Scatter like pigeons across grass —Anon
  25. (His foes are) scattered like chirping sparrows —Stephen Vincent Benét
  26. Thrown away like used paper cups —Anon
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dispersal - the act of dispersing or diffusing something; "the dispersion of the troops"; "the diffusion of knowledge"
spreading, spread - act of extending over a wider scope or expanse of space or time
crop-dusting, spraying - the dispersion of fungicides or insecticides or fertilizer on growing crops (often from a low-flying aircraft)


1. scattering, spread, distribution, dissemination, dissipation the plants' mechanisms of dispersal of their spores
2. spread, broadcast, circulation, diffusion, dissemination the dispersal of this notably negative attitude


The passing out or spreading about of something:
تَفريق، تَشْتيت
dreifing, tvístrun
dağ mayay ma


[dɪsˈpɜːsəl] N (= scattering) [of army, crowd] → dispersión f; [of light] → descomposición f


[dɪˈspɜːrsəl] n
[seeds] → dissémination f
[refugees, asylum seekers] → répartition f
[gas, toxins] → propagation f


n (= scattering)Verstreuen nt; (Bot: of seed) → Verteilung f; (= dispelling: of crowd, mist) → Zerstreuung f, → Auflösung f; (of oil slick)Auflösung f; (Opt: of light) → Streuung f; (Chem: of particles) → Dispersion f; (fig) (of knowledge etc)Verbreitung f; (of efforts)Verzettelung f, → Zersplitterung f


[dɪsˈpɜːsl] n (gen) → dispersione f (Bot) → disseminazione f


(diˈspəːs) verb
1. to (cause to) scatter in all directions. Some seeds are dispersed by the wind.
2. to (cause to) spread (news etc). Information is dispersed by volunteers who distribute leaflets.
3. to (cause to) vanish. By this time the crowd had dispersed.
diˈspersal noun
References in classic literature ?
This smoke (or flame, perhaps, would be the better word for it) was so bright that the deep blue sky overhead and the hazy stretches of brown common towards Chertsey, set with black pine trees, seemed to darken abruptly as these puffs arose, and to remain the darker after their dispersal.
There was an immediate dispersal for these restoratives, and she softly laid the patient on a sofa, and tended her with great skill and gentleness: calling her "my precious
We must be going with the rest,' observed Mrs Lammle, rising with a show of unwillingness, amidst a general dispersal.
said Kim, beaten down by the silence and the appalling sweep and dispersal of the cloud-shadows after rain.
So many times had Rosa seen such dispersals, and so very little did she know of any other Home, that she was contented to remain where she was, and was even better contented than ever before, having her latest friend with her.
Addressing the Standard ANSI/ASCE/EWRI 44-13, the document discusses the capability for dispersing fog; an abridged version of the physics of supercooled fog formation and dispersal; and recommendations for planning, organizing, conducting, and evaluating a supercooled fog dispersal operation.
In the dispersal type--the umbilical vessels undergo successive division with gradually diminishing caliber towards periphery, while in magistral type the umbilical vessels is characterized by the arteries that traverse to the edge of placenta without appreciable decrease in diameter of vessels.
They may also be relocated elsewhere after an initial dispersal.
Population models (22) as well as direct observations (23) indicate that dispersal is an important factor for the survival of Ae.
Prior to the application of such a model, several questions need to be addressed, including 1) how males and females vary in their dispersal behaviour, 2) what landscape features facilitate or impede movement of dispersers, and 3) what habitat and social conditions prompt immigration.
The dispersal order, covering an area around Western Road, Spring Hill and Icknield Street, gives officers power to move groups of two or more, if they are suspected of causing a nuisance.
He told the annual meeting of the police authority at St Asaph: "It's not a curfew or blanket ban, the way the dispersal order has been reported in the media.