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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.
    • Cook
      I soon dissipated his fears.
    • Hazlitt
      The extreme tendency of civilization is to dissipate all intellectual energy.
  2. (transitive) To use up or waste; squander.
    • Bishop Burnet
      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.

Related termsEdit


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.

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