Definition of dissipation in English:



  • 1Overindulgence in sensual pleasures; dissipated living.

    ‘a descent into drunkenness and sexual dissipation’
    • ‘At college, Peirce earned a reputation for arrogance, brilliance, iconoclasm, dangerous mood swings, and dissipation, behaviors owing in part to neurological pathologies.’
    • ‘In carefully hiding his decline from public view, a process of dissipation that culminates in the murder of a long-time family friend, Delamere essentially splits into two selves - one public, the other private.’
    • ‘This doesn't bother me unduly, aware as I am that the skinny wastrels to whom I'm typically attracted are themselves starting to reach the extent of their appeal as the fruits of their dissipation begin to show in their faces.’
    • ‘Tall stories of drink, dissipation and outrageous behaviour were the material from which the legend was to be fashioned.’
    • ‘The Democratic Party was once great under General Jackson, but lately it has fallen into dissipation and decadence, so much so that it now employs a lowly donkey as its mascot.’
    • ‘Thomas Girtin was born in 1775 and died at 27, perhaps of asthma, although nameless dissipation and even sitting sketching on cold ground have been given as possible causes of death.’
    • ‘Since preachers and friars blamed the vices and dissipation of the city for the defeat, the government reorganized not only its commercial infrastructures but also the external signs of its devotion.’
    • ‘Finally, after much jockeying, the younger man visits Ames and tells him his story of wandering and dissipation, and of an affair in St. Louis with a black woman from a respectable preacher's family in Tennessee.’
    • ‘This sport has too long been perverted from diversion and innocent pastime to excessive gaming and public dissipation; the increasing evil our magistracy ought to suppress.’
    • ‘Does the muse ever give up, other than when dissipation takes hold of the creative artist concerned?’
    • ‘Subsequent 19th-century critics largely concentrated on the character of Cleopatra, to whom even those who regarded the play as a simple moral warning against dissipation responded vigorously.’
    • ‘At Oxford he went in for scenes of dissipation, at Wilson's he was unruly, in Naples he had a mistress.’
    • ‘Be careful, or your spirits will be bogged down with dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that Day will pounce on you like a trap.’
    • ‘There are few signs of dissipation about the 46-year-old Oldman these days.’
    • ‘This was the troubling existence of social division; the co-existence of affluence and destitution; of learning with ignorance; of sobriety with dissipation and dissolution.’
    • ‘Part of Doyle's reputation for dissipation is cultivated.’
    • ‘The West itself, enamoured by these ideas, is suffering the consequences of dissipation and decaying morality that has corrupted its youth and doomed its civilisation to ruin and collapse.’
    • ‘According to many participants, these revivals acted as an antidote to dissipation, and - especially in Southern armies during the last eighteen months of the war - to despair.’
    • ‘Surely that is why he spent so much time among the poor, and neglected to represent the powerful, showing only monuments to their dissipation.’
    • ‘His early death encouraged the belief that debauchery and dissipation had been the death of him and he was so little regarded after his passing that his corpse was cast into a pauper's grave in Canongate churchyard.’
    debauchery, decadence, dissoluteness, dissolution, intemperance, immoderation, excess, profligacy, abandonment, self-indulgence, wildness
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  • 2The squandering of money, energy, or resources.

    ‘the dissipation of the country's mineral wealth’
    • ‘With a state's economic weight in decline, the number of rivals and amount of disputed issues swells like a tidal wave, leading to dissipation of limited resources in many sectors.’
    • ‘The plaintiff is relieved of the burden of managing a large sum of money and is protected from possible dissipation of the funds.’
    • ‘The result of all this conniving shadow-boxing by the media and celebrities, is the slow and steady dissipation of the resolve to take action; the outrage in the people against the perpetrators ebbs and disappears.’
    • ‘Second, the rapid dissipation of personal savings (which, as mentioned above, might now be negative under the American definition) likely circumscribes future consumption growth.’
    • ‘The franchise needs continuity to ensure that positive public perception isn't forfeited unnecessarily through the dissipation or reduction of essential experience.’
    • ‘Funding such firms on an ongoing basis is nothing more than a dissipation of capital.’
    • ‘As they proceeded he grew increasingly concerned over the potential for the dissipation of his new-found wealth in the crowds that lay ahead.’
    • ‘Governments have wasted a lot of money on silly projects, but the dissipation of a trillion dollars in the space of a couple of years on valueless dotcoms and redundant optical fibre is a record that is not going to be matched any time soon.’
    • ‘Auty showed that the retention of rent by the public owner could result in the dissipation of rent in dubious public projects.’
    • ‘Wasteful dissipation of resources has become associated more with the public sector than the private sector, especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union has revealed the worst excesses of public kleptocracy.’
    • ‘A lot of the public policy programs, while they might have achieved economic benefits, have led to break up and dissipation of what were already very modest masses of intellectual capital and expertise.’
    squandering, waste, misspending
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    1. 2.1Physics Loss of energy through its conversion into heat.
      ‘energy dissipation’
      [count noun] ‘the dissipations in the switch and diode are small’
      • ‘The entire unit generates 40 watts, keeping heat dissipation to a minimum.’
      • ‘It should be noted that the heat generated by energy dissipation does not influence leaf temperature appreciably.’
      • ‘It has been believed that, in addition to the avoidance mechanisms such as excess heat dissipation through evaporative cooling, intrinsic tolerance mechanisms are more relevant for a greater adaptation to high temperature.’
      • ‘So if we look at fault-tolerant gate constructions and consider their energetics, are there technologies that minimize energy dissipation?’
      • ‘But if equipment is already operating on the low end of nominal voltage then the brown-out may cause excessive heat dissipation in motors and electronic equipment.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘complete disintegration’): from Latin dissipatio(n-), from the verb dissipare (see dissipate).