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[dih-spur-zhuh n, -shuh n] /dɪˈspɜr ʒən, -ʃən/
Also, dispersal. an act, state, or instance of dispersing or of being dispersed.
  1. the variation of the index of refraction of a transparent substance, as glass, with the wavelength of light, with the index of refraction increasing as the wavelength decreases.
  2. the separation of white or compound light into its respective colors, as in the formation of a spectrum by a prism.
Statistics. the scattering of values of a variable around the mean or median of a distribution.
Military. a scattered pattern of hits of bombs dropped under identical conditions or of shots fired from the same gun with the same firing data.
Also called disperse system. Physical Chemistry. a system of dispersed particles suspended in a solid, liquid, or gas.
(initial capital letter) Diaspora (def 1).
Origin of dispersion
1350-1400; Middle English dispersio(u)n (< Anglo-French) < Latin dispersiōn- (stem of dispersiō), equivalent to dispers(us) (see disperse) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nondispersion, noun
predispersion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dispersion
  • Search engines have the opposite problem: dispersion rather than concentration of interest.
  • One great emotional obstacle is the dispersion of the tournament.
  • It is a consequence of the dispersion of light by air.
  • Moreover, their broad dispersion of highs accounts for sonic spaciousness beyond the range of budget systems.
  • Two of these items are suspensions, and other is a colloidal dispersion.
  • There is a finite number, but the dispersion of it is the problem.
  • Turn down the heat until the liquid barely simmers, using a metal heat dispersion plate if necessary.
  • The fast pace of technology accelerates its viral dispersion in our culture.
  • Finally, the critiques don't explain the dispersion.
  • But dispersion is no protection against a determined genocide.
British Dictionary definitions for dispersion


another word for dispersal
  1. the separation of electromagnetic radiation into constituents of different wavelengths
  2. a measure of the ability of a substance to separate by refraction, expressed by the first differential of the refractive index with respect to wavelength at a given value of wavelength D
(statistics) the degree to which values of a frequency distribution are scattered around some central point, usually the arithmetic mean or median
(chem) a system containing particles dispersed in a solid, liquid, or gas
(military) the pattern of fire from a weapon system
  1. the range of speeds of such objects as the stars in a galaxy
  2. the frequency-dependent retardation of radio waves as they pass through the interstellar medium
  3. the deviation of a rocket from its prescribed path
(ecology) the distribution pattern of an animal or a plant population


the Dispersion, another name for the Diaspora
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for dispersion

late 14c., from Old French dispersion (13c.), from Latin dispersionem (nominative dispersio) "a scattering," noun of action from past participle stem of dispergere (see disperse).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dispersion in Medicine

dispersion dis·per·sion (dĭ-spûr'zhən, -shən)

  1. The act or process of dispersing.

  2. The state of being dispersed.

  3. Disperse system.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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dispersion in Science
The separation by refraction of light or other radiation into individual components of different wavelengths. Dispersion results in most materials because a material's index of refraction depends on the wavelength of the radiation passing through it; thus different wavelengths entering a material along the same path will fan out into different paths within it. Prisms, for example, diffuse white light (which contains an even mixture of visible wavelengths) into its variously colored components; rainbows are an effect of dispersion in water droplets.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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dispersion in the Bible

(Gr. diaspora, "scattered," James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1) of the Jews. At various times, and from the operation of divers causes, the Jews were separated and scattered into foreign countries "to the outmost parts of heaven" (Deut. 30:4). (1.) Many were dispersed over Assyria, Media, Babylonia, and Persia, descendants of those who had been transported thither by the Exile. The ten tribes, after existing as a separate kingdom for two hundred and fifty-five years, were carried captive (B.C. 721) by Shalmaneser (or Sargon), king of Assyria. They never returned to their own land as a distinct people, although many individuals from among these tribes, there can be no doubt, joined with the bands that returned from Babylon on the proclamation of Cyrus. (2.) Many Jews migrated to Egypt and took up their abode there. This migration began in the days of Solomon (2 Kings 18:21, 24; Isa. 30:7). Alexander the Great placed a large number of Jews in Alexandria, which he had founded, and conferred on them equal rights with the Egyptians. Ptolemy Philadelphus, it is said, caused the Jewish Scriptures to be translated into Greek (the work began B.C. 284), for the use of the Alexandrian Jews. The Jews in Egypt continued for many ages to exercise a powerful influence on the public interests of that country. From Egypt they spread along the coast of Africa to Cyrene (Acts 2:10) and to Ethiopia (8:27). (3.) After the time of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 280), one of the captains of Alexander the Great, large numbers of Jews migrated into Syria, where they enjoyed equal rights with the Macedonians. From Syria they found their way into Asia Minor. Antiochus the Great, king of Syria and Asia, removed 3,000 families of Jews from Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and planted them in Phrygia and Lydia. (4.) From Asia Minor many Jews moved into Greece and Macedonia, chiefly for purposes of commerce. In the apostles' time they were found in considerable numbers in all the principal cities. From the time of Pompey the Great (B.C. 63) numbers of Jews from Palestine and Greece went to Rome, where they had a separate quarter of the city assigned to them. Here they enjoyed considerable freedom. Thus were the Jews everywhere scattered abroad. This, in the overruling providence of God, ultimately contributed in a great degree toward opening the way for the spread of the gospel into all lands. Dispersion, from the plain of Shinar. This was occasioned by the confusion of tongues at Babel (Gen. 11:9). They were scattered abroad "every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations" (Gen. 10:5, 20,31). The tenth chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the principal nations of the earth in their migrations from the plain of Shinar, which was their common residence after the Flood. In general, it may be said that the descendants of Japheth were scattered over the north, those of Shem over the central regions, and those of Ham over the extreme south. The following table shows how the different families were dispersed: | - Japheth | - Gomer | Cimmerians, Armenians | - Magog | Caucasians, Scythians | - Madal | Medes and Persian tribes | - Javan | - Elishah | Greeks | - Tarshish | Etruscans, Romans | - Chittim | Cyprians, Macedonians | - Dodanim | Rhodians | - Tubal | Tibareni, Tartars | - Mechech | Moschi, Muscovites | - Tiras | Thracians | | - Shem | - Elam | Persian tribes | - Asshur | Assyrian | - Arphaxad | - Abraham | - Isaac | - Jacob | Hebrews | - Esau | Edomites | - Ishmael | Mingled with Arab tribes | - Lud | Lydians | - Aram | Syrians | | - Ham | - Cush | Ethiopans | - Mizrain | Egyptians | - Phut | Lybians, Mauritanians | - Canaan | Canaanites, Phoenicians

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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