9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dis-er-tey-shuh n] /ˌdɪs ərˈteɪ ʃən/
a written essay, treatise, or thesis, especially one written by a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
any formal discourse in speech or writing.
Origin of dissertation
1605-15; < Latin dissertātiōn- (stem of dissertātiō), equivalent to dissertāt(us) (past participle of dissertāre; dissert- (see dissert) + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
dissertational, adjective
dissertationist, noun
Can be confused
dissertation, thesis. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dissertation
  • It is a prerequisite that the dissertation has been approved before appointment is granted.
  • The mother went into a long dissertation, answering the little girl's why.
  • She successfully defended her doctoral dissertation recently.
  • If his theory is good, he can do it as a dissertation.
  • Ludologists defend their dissertations under intense scrutiny.
  • Her dissertation focused on how to retain students in community colleges.
  • He even wrote his doctoral dissertation at Harvard on the subject.
  • The degree is awarded on the basis of examination and assessment of the dissertation.
  • That's not a comment, that's a dissertation.
  • For his dissertation research, he built a transmissometer, a device that measures water quality.
British Dictionary definitions for dissertation


a written thesis, often based on original research, usually required for a higher degree
a formal discourse
Derived Forms
dissertational, adjective
dissertationist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dissertation

1610s, "discussion, debate," from Latin dissertationem (nominative dissertatio) "discourse," noun of action from past participle stem of dissertare "debate, argue, examine, harangue," frequentative of disserere "discuss, examine," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + serere "to arrange words" (see series). Sense of "formal, written treatise" is 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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