1350-1400;Middle Englishdispersen, disparsen (< Middle Frenchdisperser) < Latindispersus (past participle of dispergere), equivalent to di-di-2 + -sper(g)- scatter (stem of -spergere, combining form of spargere to scatter, strew) + -sus past participle suffix
mid-15c., from M.Fr. disperser "scatter," from L. dispersus, pp. of dispergere "to scatter," from dis- "apart, in every direction" + spargere "to scatter" (see sparse). The L. word is glossed in O.E. by tostregdan. Related: Dispersed; dispersing.