Definition of dispersal in English:



mass noun
  • 1The action or process of distributing or spreading things or people over a wide area.

    ‘dispersal of pollen by the wind’
    count noun ‘dispersals of archaic populations’
    • ‘Morphological and cytological evidence point to an origin of the genus in South America, followed by subsequent long-distance dispersals to explain current distribution patterns.’
    • ‘The only answer seems to be the widest dispersal possible of power and wealth.’
    • ‘We observed an influx of long-tailed ducks into coastal lagoons in July, followed by dispersal to other areas in late August.’
    • ‘More work is needed on the period after dispersal from the natal area, but we believe there is some variability in length of the dependent period for this species.’
    • ‘In addition to the importance of single processes, the role played by the spatial coupling between seed dispersal and subsequent processes has been highlighted by several reports.’
    • ‘A longer period of dispersal tends to mean a wider dispersal as well, which may eventually help a species populate new areas.’
    • ‘However, the extent to which dispersal limits local distribution is poorly known.’
    • ‘I recite these names in part to illustrate the wide geographic dispersal of the scholars.’
    • ‘It spreads rapidly into disturbed areas via animals or water dispersal.’
    • ‘Many other factors may intervene to distort or completely eliminate the influences of seed dispersal patterns on subsequent distributions.’
    • ‘Genetic differentiation among populations is principally a function of gene flow among populations via pollen and seed dispersal.’
    • ‘Many of them flourish in a broad range of habitats, and nearly all of them are adapted for wide dispersal.’
    • ‘But the process of dispersal was so slow that the rate of faunal replacement between different groups was much slower than the process of evolution within them.’
    • ‘Seed dispersal is the main process linking the spatial pattern of parent plants with that of their offspring.’
    • ‘We would also like to increase our understanding of population processes, such as dispersal and seedling recruitment.’
    • ‘One group will focus on natural processes that affect dispersal of genes such as wind, timing of plant flowering, or proximity to compatible wild relatives.’
    • ‘The distribution of organisms can be regulated by local environmental factors and regional processes such as dispersal.’
    • ‘Also, Tree Swallows do not defend foraging areas, so dispersal does not affect access to food.’
    • ‘In an era of rogue terrorism, the wide dispersal of military museums curiously bodes well for survival of the nation's military heritage.’
    • ‘Additional benefits of dispersal from the natal area might be avoidance of high levels of inbreeding or avoidance of local resource competition.’
    spreading, circulation, distribution, diffusion
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The splitting up of a group of people, causing them to leave in different directions.
      ‘the dispersal of the crowd by mounted police’
      • ‘The report said Government policies of dispersal and direct provision acted to segregate asylum seekers from the community.’
      • ‘A dispersal area is a consideration, however it does involve quite stringent restrictions on the liberty of young people in the area and it cannot be used disproportionately.’
      • ‘The initial group abandoned this march, but a second group formed and, when police ordered its dispersal, the crowd reacted by throwing stones at officials.’
      • ‘But the police were reluctant because of issues over crowd dispersal and transport.’
      • ‘The army said the soldiers used crowd dispersal means.’
      • ‘The only dispersal areas available were constructed during World War II and could, with a little effort, be converted into blast-proof pens.’
      • ‘In October, dispersals to six areas of England were suspended at the request of the police, after a series of vicious attacks on asylum seekers.’
      • ‘Police have imposed dispersal zones in three areas where yobbish behaviour is bringing misery to residents.’
      • ‘A dispersal area, which allows officers to send home groups harassing residents, is now in operation.’
      • ‘From Monday, officers will have the power to dish out dispersal orders to split up gangs of troublesome teenagers that congregate to cause criminal damage, graffiti and intimidation.’
      • ‘Police have made 13 other dispersal directions.’
      • ‘The Clifton dispersal area was initially hailed as a success by residents as extra patrols cleared the streets of problem groups.’
      • ‘Sometimes protesters would be given clear direction and dispersal warnings.’
      • ‘High visibility policing led to 25 arrests and 16 people being removed from the borough's new dispersal areas after two days of intensive patrols.’
      • ‘Despite the evident dispersal of some comic book artists to remote locations, these artists form a social economy that periodically interacts intensively.’
      • ‘If a crowd of random walkers starts from the same point, the pattern of dispersal of the crowd is predictable.’
    2. 1.2 The splitting up and selling off of a collection of artefacts or books.
      ‘the dispersal of the John Willett Collection’
      count noun ‘colleges had made large dispersals, and the shops were filled with books’
      • ‘Two years ago he added to it the Furstenberg collection of Old Masters, so preventing its dispersal.’
      • ‘News of the sale, however, has been met with dismay and alarm by some in the art world who see the dispersal of Breton's collection as a great public loss.’
      • ‘In the end, his collection went to the BMS for dispersal.’
      • ‘The result was the dispersal of the books in languages other than Chinese among different departmental libraries, and a long period of neglect.’
      • ‘To avoid any such dispersal of Basilevsky's collection of medieval and renaissance applied arts, Alexander II!’
      • ‘With its dispersal at auction, thousands of collectors throughout the world will have an opportunity to see - and acquire - a vast array of rare and wonderful items.’
      • ‘During 1914, it was decided that the Society should limit its interests to New England, and the dispersal of its research collections was begun.’
      • ‘He was particularly concerned at the dispersal of many archives and books by the dissolution of the monasteries.’
      • ‘Yet, in order to remain solvent, many museums face cutbacks and, in some instances, the dispersal of part of their collections.’
      • ‘At the same time, the dispersal of the collections of Roman families such as the Altemps, Barberini, and Borghese greatly enriched the market.’
      • ‘Its dispersal encouraged A. E. Gallatin to open his own collection to the public in New York as the Museum of Living Art.’
      • ‘The intense demand that existed for former Taozhai objects is apparent in the collection's dispersal throughout China and the world.’