Definition of intersperse in English:



  • 1 Scatter among or between other things; place here and there.

    ‘deep pools interspersed by shallow shingle banks’
    • ‘The band, a nine-member unit consisting of guitar, drums, bass, strings, keyboard, marimbas, and woodwinds, intersperses voice-over narrative with sprawling instrumental melodies.’
    • ‘She weaves together anecdotes, diary excerpts, and correspondence; draws on military records, newspaper accounts, songs, and poetry; and intersperses her own insightful commentary throughout.’
    • ‘Do they believe that offices, stores, and schools will scale themselves down and intersperse themselves nicely among these 5-acre homesites?’
    • ‘A deer being chased by a wild dog, hurtling across some large featureless plain beneath a sky the deep blue-black of ink, interspersing its run with elegant bounds, that delicate prettiness even in its death-flight.’
    • ‘Again, the same feeling of happy companionable comfort, although it probably wouldn't have been at all apparent to anyone else given that we spent a fair bit of the time disagreeing violently and interspersing this with hacking coughs.’
    • ‘McGuinness took the role of compère, interspersing the three acts with a couple of quick gags and some audience ‘whipping’.’
    • ‘I also interspersed these with spinach, so all my spinach seedlings are planted out now too.’
    • ‘Rowlandson intersperses her autobiography with numerous quotations from the Bible.’
    • ‘Frears, however, plays both home and away, interspersing his several successful forays into the studio system with a series of low-key gems that bear not a trace of Tinseltown gloss.’
    • ‘She intersperses Fanny Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words with poignant letters to her brother, Felix.’
    • ‘Yes, now you too can look educated by interspersing your conversation or emails with these handy phrases’
    • ‘The Magic Kingdom intersperses footage of creatures in artificial zoo landscapes with what may be animated diagrams of their souls.’
    • ‘But I want to intersperse the two because, if I keep doing dramatic things, they'll have to put me in a cage because I get so emotionally wrought up.’
    • ‘The roads are all so long, and pockets of tall buildings intersperse themselves with markets and shady alleys, and your planned route may easily be interrupted by a large flyover or highway suddenly obstructing your path.’
    • ‘The track between Bolton Abbey and Embsay pushes alongside green fields, interspersed by pretty streams.’
    • ‘I nipped between the two a number of times throughout the day, interspersing Thai treats with Spanish salsa.’
    • ‘Teachers liked the format of the day, pairing a scientist and an ethicist and interspersing workshop/discussions with DBI laboratory visits.’
    • ‘Trying to save the giant series created some odd results: one seemingly random image would intersperse itself all the way along.’
    • ‘The song intersperses shots of the garage performance with a storyline showing a young girl sneaking out of her house through the window.’
    • ‘Anderson intersperses her recollection of treatment and recovery with Bible passages and affirmations.’
    scatter, distribute, disperse, spread, strew, dot, sprinkle, pepper, litter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Diversify (a thing or things) with other things at intervals.
      ‘the debate was interspersed with angry exchanges’
      • ‘Conversation is however interspersed with the easier compliments on our chopstick skills and disbelief at how hairy the boys are.’
      • ‘Now his competitive schedule is interspersed with growing corporate commitments, including course design and charity work.’
      • ‘The series was interspersed with stories from lives of little-known actors in the tragedy.’
      • ‘The programme is interspersed with interviews, narration and renditions.’
      • ‘The green shapes were interspersed with a smaller number of blue shapes.’
      • ‘Not only were they entertaining, the stories were interspersed with bits showing the camaraderie of explorers.’
      • ‘Poignant moments are interspersed with some darkly amusing ones.’
      • ‘There are guests and goal-clips and interviews, but it is all interspersed with games, gags, skits and phone-ins.’
      • ‘The games are interspersed with recorded stories and songs.’
      • ‘I don't think I can remember such a foul day for a sale and the intermittent showers forecast by the weather men were only interspersed with heavy rain.’
      • ‘The night is interspersed with some two hand dances and waltzes.’
      • ‘The slides were interspersed with demonstrations of how the Romans built their bridges and aqueducts using a set of ingenious models.’
      • ‘Patriotic choral singing is interspersed with news commentary.’
      • ‘Now, during the US war on Iraq, news from the frontlines is seamlessly interspersed with news from the stock markets.’
      • ‘The stream looked lovely, with shallow runs interspersed with deep gorges; the trout however were not very obliging!’
      • ‘Great stuff is interspersed with awful, stupid stuff on a bathroom wall.’
      • ‘Mourning is randomly interspersed with other remarks on the protagonist's past, and comments on Nottingham architecture.’
      • ‘The hot weather was interspersed with frequent outbreaks of rain.’
      • ‘The present day is interspersed with the story of what really happened on the island in the 19th century.’
      • ‘The song is highly varied - musical passages are freely interspersed with harsh grating ones.’
      intermix, mix, mingle
      View synonyms


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘diversify (something) by introducing other things at intervals’): from Latin interspers- scattered between, from interspergere, from inter- between + spargere scatter.