From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English dissipacion, dissipacioun, from Late Latin dissipātiō. 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: [] William Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], →OCLC:
      without loss or dissipation of the matter
    • a. 1677 (date written), Matthew Hale, The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature, London: [] William Godbid, for William Shrowsbery, [], published 1677, →OCLC:
      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. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, 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 December, Ellis Bell [pseudonym; Emily Brontë], “chapter VIII”, in Wuthering Heights: [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Thomas Cautley Newby, [], →OCLC:
      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:
      [...] 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:
      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.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



From dissiper +‎ -tion.



dissipation f (plural dissipations)

  1. clearing, dissipation, disappearance

Further reading[edit]