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Borrowed from Latin dissipatus, past participle of dissipare, also written dissupare (to scatter, disperse, demolish, destroy, squander, dissipate), from dis- (apart) + supare (to throw), also in comp. insipare (to throw into).


  • IPA(key): /ˈdɪsɪpeɪt/
  • (file)


dissipate (third-person singular simple present dissipates, present participle dissipating, simple past and past participle dissipated)

  1. (transitive) To drive away, disperse.
    • August 1773, James Cook, journal entry
      I soon dissipated his fears.
    • 1817, William Hazlitt, The Round Table
      The extreme tendency of civilization is to dissipate all intellectual energy.
  2. (transitive) To use up or waste; squander.
    • 1679-1715, Gilbert Burnet, History of the Reformation
      The vast wealth [] was in three years dissipated.
    • 1931, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Babylon Revisited
      So much for the effort and ingenuity of Montmartre. All the catering to vice and waste was on an utterly childish scale, and he suddenly realized the meaning of the word "dissipate"—to dissipate into thin air; to make nothing out of something.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      If he prefers the bar he can exchange views with a Major de Wildman of Lord knew whose army, who calls himself King Farouk's equerry and claims to have a private telephone link to Cairo so that he can report the winning numbers and take royal orders inspired by soothsayers on how to dissipate the wealth of Egypt.
  3. (intransitive) To vanish by dispersion.
  4. (physics) To cause energy to be lost through its conversion to heat.
    • 1960 April, “English Electric diesels for the Sudan Railways”, in Trains Illustrated, page 218:
      The traction motors serve as generators when dynamic braking is used, the generated output being dissipated in fan-cooled resistance banks mounted in a removable roof section.
  5. (intransitive, colloquial, dated) To be dissolute in conduct.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]




  1. inflection of dissipare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative
  2. feminine plural of dissipato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dissipō