Meaning of “disperse” in the English Dictionary

"disperse" in British English

See all translations

disperseverb [ I or T ]

uk /dɪˈspɜːs/ us /dɪˈspɝːs/

to spread across or move away over a large area, or to make something do this:

When the rain came down the crowds started to disperse.
Police dispersed the crowd that had gathered.

More examples

  • Outside the church, the congregation shook hands with the vicar and began to disperse.
  • Debris from the aircraft was dispersed over a large area.
  • Can you be responsible for dispersing these notices everywhere around town, please?
  • The showers will be quite widely dispersed across the whole region.
  • Once the seeds are released into the air, the wind quickly disperses them.
dispersal
noun [ U ] uk /dɪˈspɜː.səl/ us /dɪˈspɝː.səl/

(Definition of “disperse” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"disperse" in American English

See all translations

disperseverb [ I/T ]

us /dɪˈspɜrs/

to scatter or move away over a large area, or to cause this to happen:

[ I ] It took several hours for the crowd to disperse.
dispersal
noun [ U ] us /dɪˈspɜr·səl/

(Definition of “disperse” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)