Definition of intersperse in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Scatter among or between other things; place here and there.

    ‘interspersed between tragic stories are a few songs supplying comic relief’
    • ‘She intersperses Fanny Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words with poignant letters to her brother, Felix.’
    • ‘The Magic Kingdom intersperses footage of creatures in artificial zoo landscapes with what may be animated diagrams of their souls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I nipped between the two a number of times throughout the day, interspersing Thai treats with Spanish salsa.’
    • ‘The band, a nine-member unit consisting of guitar, drums, bass, strings, keyboard, marimbas, and woodwinds, intersperses voice-over narrative with sprawling instrumental melodies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Teachers liked the format of the day, pairing a scientist and an ethicist and interspersing workshop/discussions with DBI laboratory visits.’
    • ‘I also interspersed these with spinach, so all my spinach seedlings are planted out now too.’
    • ‘The song intersperses shots of the garage performance with a storyline showing a young girl sneaking out of her house through the window.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yes, now you too can look educated by interspersing your conversation or emails with these handy phrases’
    • ‘The track between Bolton Abbey and Embsay pushes alongside green fields, interspersed by pretty streams.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘McGuinness took the role of compère, interspersing the three acts with a couple of quick gags and some audience ‘whipping’.’
    • ‘Anderson intersperses her recollection of treatment and recovery with Bible passages and affirmations.’
    • ‘Trying to save the giant series created some odd results: one seemingly random image would intersperse itself all the way along.’
    scatter, distribute, disperse, spread, strew, dot, sprinkle, pepper, litter
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    1. 1.1 Diversify (a thing or things) with other things at intervals.
      ‘a patchwork of open fields interspersed with copses of pine’
      • ‘Mourning is randomly interspersed with other remarks on the protagonist's past, and comments on Nottingham architecture.’
      • ‘The stream looked lovely, with shallow runs interspersed with deep gorges; the trout however were not very obliging!’
      • ‘The slides were interspersed with demonstrations of how the Romans built their bridges and aqueducts using a set of ingenious models.’
      • ‘The games are interspersed with recorded stories and songs.’
      • ‘The hot weather was interspersed with frequent outbreaks of rain.’
      • ‘Now, during the US war on Iraq, news from the frontlines is seamlessly interspersed with news from the stock markets.’
      • ‘Conversation is however interspersed with the easier compliments on our chopstick skills and disbelief at how hairy the boys are.’
      • ‘Great stuff is interspersed with awful, stupid stuff on a bathroom wall.’
      • ‘The programme is interspersed with interviews, narration and renditions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now his competitive schedule is interspersed with growing corporate commitments, including course design and charity work.’
      • ‘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 present day is interspersed with the story of what really happened on the island in the 19th century.’
      • ‘Patriotic choral singing is interspersed with news commentary.’
      • ‘The night is interspersed with some two hand dances and waltzes.’
      • ‘The green shapes were interspersed with a smaller number of blue shapes.’
      • ‘The song is highly varied - musical passages are freely interspersed with harsh grating ones.’
      • ‘The series was interspersed with stories from lives of little-known actors in the tragedy.’
      intermix, mix, mingle
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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’.