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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.
    • (Can we date this quote by Cook and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      I soon dissipated his fears.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hazlitt and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The extreme tendency of civilization is to dissipate all intellectual energy.
  2. (transitive) To use up or waste; squander.
    • (Can we date this quote by Bishop Burnet and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      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. (intransitive, colloquial, dated) To be dissolute in conduct.
  5. (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.

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. second-person plural present indicative of dissipare
  2. second-person plural imperative of dissipare
  3. feminine plural of dissipato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dissipō