Aspersion vs dispersion

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Aspersion and dispersion are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the definitions of aspersion and dispersion, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

An aspersion is an attack on someone’s character or integrity. The word aspersion also means to sprinkle with something, such as sprinkling water during a religious ceremony. It is derived from the Latin word aspersionem. Today, one rarely sees the word aspersion used outside of the idiom cast aspersions.

Dispersion is the act of scattering something over a wide area, or the state of having been scattered over a wide area. In physics, dispersion is the act of separating white light into its component colors. The word dispersion is derived from the Latin word dispersionem, which means a scattering.


Sibal, who was reading out a 2011 judgement of the apex court in the Karnataka floor test case, quickly responded to the bench by saying,”I am not casting any aspersion on the pro tem speaker.” (India Today)

It’s always risky to suggest that Cedric Floyd is less of a jerk than alleged; he rarely fails to prove himself worthy of an aspersion. (The New Orleans Advocate)

THE dispersion of stock prices and the cyclicality of markets have generally been essential ingredients for the performance of traditional active managers. (The Business Times)

In a surprising twist, researchers also found that as the nanotubes’ concentrations increase, the material transitions from a dilute dispersion to a thick paste, then a free-standing gel and finally a kneadable dough that can be shaped and molded. (Science Daily)

David Damby, a volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said the ash dispersion was light Tuesday, but residents should remain indoors if it becomes more substantial. (West Hawaii Today)


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