from The Century Dictionary.

  • Tending to dissipate or disperse; dispersive.
  • Of or pertaining to the phenomenon of the dissipation of energy. See energy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Tending to dissipate.
  • adjective (Mech.) an assumed system of matter and motions in which forces of friction and resistances of other kinds are introduced without regard to the heat or other molecular actions which they generate; -- opposed to conservative system.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective That dissipates, or causes dissipation


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • (The analogy doesn't quite work, however, because human society more closely resembles what Prigogine termed a dissipative system, a type of system far from thermodynamic equilibrium due to the large flows of energy through the system).

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • In this manner, thermoeconomics attempts to apply the theories in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, in which structure formations called dissipative structures form, and information theory, in which information entropy is a central construct, to the modeling of economic activities in which the natural flows of energy and materials function to create scarce resources.


  • In thermodynamic terminology, human economic activity may be described as a dissipative system, which flourishes by transforming and exchanging resources, goods, and services.


  • The new or anomalous behaviour occurs when for then the so-called dissipative term clearly acts to sustain and build the amplitude of the current oscillations.

    Chapter 5

  • Bruxelles, whose theory of dissipative structures was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977. 3.3

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry: The Development of Modern Chemistry

  • Erich Jantsch and Conrad H. Waddington, editors, Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition — rather a grab-bag collection about self-transcending systems, hierarchy, dissipative structures, autopoiesis, spontaneous order, scientific method, global complexity and cultural change.

    Matthew Yglesias » Influential Books

  • First, I have to tell you that you are what is called a “dissipative structure.”

    Galactic Gentle | SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles

  • Hint: if you let irresponsible madmen run government into the ground, what you get is dissipative destruction, not creative destruction.

    Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Things Will Burn

  • There is some very nice work done on the requirements for the formation of dissipative structures and the stability of these structures.

    Evidence that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is wrong? - The Panda's Thumb

  • The 108 t of mercury that left the measurement/control devices sector in 1996 was split in half, 54 t each flowed into recycling and into dissipative (incineration and landfill) loss.

    Materials flow of mercury in the economies of the United States and the world


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