English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English dissipaten, from Latin dissipātus, past participle of dissipāre, also written dissupare (to scatter, disperse, demolish, destroy, squander, dissipate), from dis- (apart) + supāre (to throw), also in comp. insipāre (to throw into).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈdɪsɪpeɪt/
  • (file)

Verb edit

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, “(please specify the page)”, in The History of the Reformation of the Church of England., London: [] T[homas] H[odgkin] for Richard Chiswell, []:
      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.
    • 2023 July 26, David Clough, “Technology progression defines Class 93”, in RAIL, number 988, page 54:
      Regenerative braking is retained. Like rheostatic braking, this uses the traction motors to provide a braking effort, but the current developed is fed back into the overhead catenary rather than dissipated through resistance banks.
  5. (intransitive, colloquial, dated) To be dissolute in conduct.

Related terms edit

Translations edit

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

Further reading edit

Italian edit

Etymology 1 edit

Verb edit


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

Etymology 2 edit

Participle edit

dissipate f pl

  1. feminine plural of dissipato

Latin edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dissipō