Definition of dispersion in US English:



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

    ‘some seeds rely on birds for dispersion’
    • ‘In one political rally she lost two teeth after a riot squad's dispersion of a protest outside of Toronto's Queen's Park.’
    • ‘If they have already separated into several groups for a significant time before such a wide dispersion, then there is likely to be more than one surname present today.’
    • ‘The company later expanded into various other chemical fields, mainly polymer dispersion and process chemicals.’
    • ‘It was really a combination and it was after they disseminated the list that its dispersion over many industries began.’
    • ‘Local anaesthetic is usually mixed with the corticosteroid in soft tissue injections to make the procedure more comfortable for patients and increase the volume of the injection for wider dispersion.’
    • ‘The firm of lawyers in Atlanta who subsequently handled the dispersion of Mary Ellen's estate have already distributed the vast bulk of it to a number of other beneficiaries.’
    • ‘The pictures are the outcome of dispersion of ink by folding and unfolding the paper,’ he says.’
    • ‘Adherent cells in primary culture appeared 1 hour after dispersion from the lesion tissue.’
    • ‘Without such advances in logistics and supply capability, regional market integration through subdivision and dispersion of production processes will not be cost effective.’
    • ‘With it, Aristotle's notion of place as a container gives way to dispersion, loss and forgetfulness.’
    • ‘This cannot be long tolerated without in fact creating more dispersion in their own caste order.’
    • ‘This dispersion is further exacerbated by the relative rise of employment in the service sector.’
    • ‘This paper has attempted to remedy this with results pointing to their potential significant but regionalized adverse impact on wealth dispersion among farm families.’
    • ‘The first three are almost identical and the latest one has a mechanism for faster dispersion.’
    • ‘Since World War I, the wider dispersion of forces on the battlefield and the increased use of cover and concealment have reduced exposure to enemy fire.’
    • ‘Realizing that things are in the process of liquidation, dispersion beckons.’
    • ‘If properly hung, the wide dispersion of acoustical energy in the horizontal plane and tight pattern control in the vertical plane will make for surprisingly good results in what have traditionally been difficult venues.’
    • ‘This has manifested in terms of declining employment opportunities for the least skilled and a wider dispersion of earnings.’
    • ‘In many European countries major political upheavals and wars since the 18th century caused dispersion of cultural artefacts such as portraits throughout the world.’
    • ‘The multiplication and dispersion of power is the best remedy to the tendency of power to coagulate - and dominate.’
    1. 1.1 The state of being dispersed over a wide area.
      ‘the general dispersion of Hellenistic culture’
      • ‘In Greece and in Malaya we lost more planes on the ground than we did in the air, because of inadequate dispersion.’
      • ‘Group dispersion can be measured in terms of the total area covered by the group, compared, perhaps, to a temporal average.’
      • ‘One of those is the wide availability and dispersion of crucial enabling technologies to every political and military entity in the world.’
      • ‘The high copy number and general dispersion of retrotransposons throughout the genome, as well as the large local change caused by their insertion, provide an excellent basis for the development of DNA-based markers.’
      • ‘To begin with, Harberger offered specific examples of innovations that indicated the sort of wide dispersion of productivity differentials that were at the heart of Leibenstein's work.’
      • ‘Sometimes these are at cross-purposes because if the segments break apart too soon, penetration will be shallow and dispersion wide.’
      • ‘How radical innovation emerges from growing content variety and context dispersion in some recombination process is not explained.’
      • ‘The use of a location binary variable is consistent with the theory of location and the spatial dispersion of human capital and technology in clusters (Ormrod).’
      • ‘Multiple regression of biface count on population and site count is questionable because of sample size and the rather wide dispersion of cases evident in crossplots.’
      • ‘The result of this process is industrial dispersion.’
      • ‘Sweden saw a reversal of strong earlier declines in inequality and in the United Kingdom a century of near-stability in earnings dispersion gave way to a sharp increase.’
      • ‘These colonies were difficult to rule efficiently because of their geographic dispersion and cultural differences.’
      • ‘A number of subsequent studies have examined the relationship of employment performance and earnings dispersion with less clear-cut results than implied in the Jobs Study.’
      • ‘One factor which has made female governance possible is the wider dispersion of electoral democracy since the late 1980s, after a long and often bitter experience of military coups.’
      • ‘From the historical depths of its culture and the dispersion of its bearers, it has acquired a richness and diversity rarely achieved within a single national entity, while keeping many fundamental elements that ensure its unity.’
      • ‘Chains focused on serving less densely populated rural areas will also tend to exhibit greater geographic dispersion and so will emphasize economies not primarily dependent on geographic concentration.’
    2. 1.2Ecology The pattern of distribution of individuals within a habitat.
      • ‘‘Assignments’ and ‘misassignments’ of individuals were then examined to discern possible dispersion and migration patterns.’
      • ‘The chromosomal location, patterns of genomic dispersion, and copy numbers of its tandemly arranged units varied between the species.’
      • ‘Thus, the dispersion ensured that within a short time certain fixed differences would become apparent in some of the small groups, which we would call separate ‘races’.’
      • ‘The pattern of dispersion of a population and thus local densities often reflects responses of individuals to structural attributes of the habitat.’
    3. 1.3also the Dispersion
      another term for diaspora
      • ‘The outsiders guess that Jesus ‘intends to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks’, but in fact they do not know what he means when he says ‘Whither I am going you cannot come’.’
      • ‘The history of Jewish dispersion has led to the outstanding diversity of the Jewish people, who have settled in countries as disparate as Morocco, Cuba, and Australia.’
      • ‘As a counter-force, the canonization of a common liturgy had the effect of maintaining Jewish spiritual unity despite the geographic and cultural dispersion.’
      • ‘The Arab dispersion came about piecemeal, through the ebb and flow of war.’
      • ‘Furthermore, due to their general dispersion, Dutch Catholics and Jews have had few opportunities to dominate either a parish or a synagogue.’
    4. 1.4 A mixture of one substance dispersed in another medium.
      • ‘The regular repetition of flickering forms and the concentrations and dispersions of pigment which continually transform the ‘image’ suggest the visual qualities of film: it is as if we are seeing an abstract painting emerge over time.’
      • ‘Lubricating greases are usually petroleum oils thickened with dispersions of soap; synthetic oils with soap or inorganic thickeners; or oils containing silicon-based dispersions.’
      • ‘Our data also show that the thermotropic phase behavior of these lipid dispersions changes after prolonged periods of low-temperature incubation.’
      • ‘Macdonald was a prominent researcher who attracted international attention in 2002 with research on smoke dispersion in urban areas.’
      • ‘The mixture is blended in a Gyroshaker machine for uniform dispersion.’
      • ‘We focused our attention on all kinds of dispersions: in polymer matrices, in solvents, in paints, and even in water.’
      • ‘Aqueous dispersions of polar lipids are known to form a large variety of phases depending on the chemical structure, temperature, and dispersing media.’
      • ‘The company's product range includes high-value chemical, plastics, dyestuffs and pigments, dispersions, automobile and industrial coatings, crop protection products, fine chemicals, crude oil and natural gas.’
      • ‘This prediction was confirmed experimentally for aqueous dispersions of uncharged unilamellar vesicles with total phospholipid concentrations’
      • ‘As a leading supplier of products for the construction industry, BASF develops, produces and markets polymer dispersions based on acrylates, styrene and butadiene.’
      • ‘Membrane dispersions were saturated with either oxygen, air, or argon, as noted.’
      • ‘Our group has recently discovered that carbon nanotube dispersions applied in very thin layers form highly transparent conductive films.’
      • ‘For example, when large polyelectrolytes coexist with concentrated clay dispersions, the complete separation of the two phases allows the thermodynamics to be understood.’
      • ‘When model membrane systems are prepared in the form of lipid dispersions, techniques other than MAS are often used.’
      • ‘Separate cationic and anionic lipid dispersions were prepared.’
      • ‘To prepare multilamellar lipid dispersions, aliquots of CHCl 3 stock solutions of phospholipid and sterol were mixed in the appropriate quantities.’
      • ‘Polymer/cholesteric liquid crystal dispersions are provided in which the liquid crystal phase separated from the polymer matrix to form droplets.’
      • ‘In this article, we describe such a structure determination method that is then applied to aqueous dispersions of various phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs).’
      • ‘Different strategies, including polymer-PS conjugation or encapsulation of the drug in colloidal carriers such as oil dispersions, liposomes and polymeric particles, have been investigated.’
      • ‘Optical microscopy was used to detect the presence of cholesterol crystals in the lipid dispersions.’
    5. 1.5Physics The separation of white light into colors, or the separation of any radiation according to wavelength.
      • ‘The lime-resolved spectra were globally analyzed with a fitting program described by van Stokkum et al., which also corrects for group velocity dispersion in the white light continuum.’
      • ‘Material dispersion is the phenomena whereby materials cause a ‘bundle’ of light to spread out as it propagates.’
      • ‘Because a negative refractive index implies dispersion, and thus a certain degree of loss, perfect lens operation is not feasible.’
      • ‘Although it has long been known that a rainbow is produced by the dispersion of white light through rain droplets via refraction, there is far more to this optical phenomenon than first meets the eye.’
      • ‘Color changes result from dispersion or concentration of pigment granules within epithelial chromatophores.’
    6. 1.6Statistics The extent to which values of a variable differ from a fixed value such as the mean.
      • ‘The most obvious way of measuring dispersion is by the range.’
      • ‘Development of improved models to predict field-scale dispersion is a continuing area of research.’
      • ‘Wide dispersion of the data suggests diverging distributary channels.’
      • ‘A sample of 133 fish was selected from the larger collections to attempt to include a wide dispersion of the four species across the different sample sites.’
      • ‘We then consider the extent to which differences in household lifetime financial resources explain the wide dispersion in wealth, given lifetime earnings.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin dispersio(n-), from Latin dispergere (see disperse).