English

Definition of disperse verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    disperse

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspɜːs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspɜːrs//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they disperse
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspɜːs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspɜːrs//
     
    he / she / it disperses
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspɜːsɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspɜːrsɪz//
     
    past simple dispersed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspɜːst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspɜːrst//
     
    past participle dispersed
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspɜːst//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspɜːrst//
     
    -ing form dispersing
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspɜːsɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspɜːrsɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move apart and go away in different directions; to make somebody/something do this The fog began to disperse. The crowd dispersed quickly. disperse somebody/something Police dispersed the protesters with tear gas.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] disperse (something) to spread or to make something spread over a wide area synonym scatter The seeds are dispersed by the wind.
  3. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin dispers- ‘scattered’, from the verb dispergere, from dis- ‘widely’ + spargere ‘scatter, strew’.Extra examples Police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. The bird-feeding system evenly disperses food and water. The cloud was dispersing as the day grew hotter. The crowd slowly began to disperse. The population in this area is quite widely dispersed. The seeds are dispersed over a wide area. Warm air rises and disperses throughout the building. geographically dispersed political and economic power to decentralize and geographically disperse political and economic power The community was dispersed by the war. The pollution in the air will disperse. They dispersed the chemicals with a sheet of water.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disperse