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From Middle French dissipation, from Late Latin dissipatio Morphologically dissipate +‎ -ion


  • IPA(key): /ˌdɪsɪˈpeɪʃən/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən
    • (file)


dissipation (countable and uncountable, plural dissipations)

  1. The act of dissipating or dispersing; a state of dispersion or separation; dispersion; waste.
    • 1631, Francis [Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
      without loss or dissipation of the matter
    • 1677, Matthew Hale, The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature
      the famous dissipation of mankind
  2. A dissolute course of life, in which health, money, etc., are squandered in pursuit of pleasure; profuseness in immoral indulgence, as late hours, riotous living, etc.; dissoluteness.
    • 18th century, Patrick Henry in a parliamentary debate
      to reclaim the spendthrift from his dissipation and extravagance
    • 1828, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], chapter XX, in Pelham; or, The Adventures of a Gentleman. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 729841413, page 196:
      I rose by candle-light, and consumed, in the intensest application, the hours which every other individual of our party wasted in enervating slumbers, from the hesternal dissipation or debauch.
    • 1847, Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, chapter VIII:
      He neither wept nor prayed; he cursed and defied: execrated God and man, and gave himself up to reckless dissipation.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad, OL 1796924W:
      [...] This is a surprise attack, and I’d no wish that the garrison, forewarned, should escape. I am sure, Lord Stranleigh, that he has been descanting on the distraction of the woods and the camp, or perhaps the metropolitan dissipation of Philadelphia, [...]
  3. A trifle which wastes time or distracts attention.
    • 1733 May 28, letter from Alexander Pope to Jonathan Swift:
      Prevented from finishing them [the letters] a thousand avocations and dissipations.
  4. (physics) A loss of energy, usually as heat, from a dynamic system.
    • 1965 November 6, G. Colombo, “Rotational Period of the Planet Mercury”, in Nature, volume 208, number 575, DOI:10.1038/208575a0:
      They conclude [] the planet will have a final period of rotation between 56 and 88 days, depending on the assumed form of the dissipation function.


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.



From dissiper +‎ -tion



dissipation f (plural dissipations)

  1. clearing, dissipation, disappearance

Further reading[edit]