Etymology
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Words related to sparse

asperges (n.)

sprinkling ritual of the Catholic church, also an antiphon intoned or sung during this, 1550s, from Late Latin asperges, noun use of 2nd person singular future indicative of Latin aspergere "to scatter, strew upon, sprinkle," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "to sprinkle" (see sparse). The word is taken from the phrase Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor, from the 51st Psalm (Vulgate), sung during the rite of sprinkling a congregation with holy water. Old English used onstregdan as a loan-translation of Latin aspergere.

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aspersion (n.)

mid-15c., originally in theology, "the shedding of Christ's blood," from Latin aspersionem (nominative aspersio) "a sprinkling," noun of action from past-participle stem of aspergere "to sprinkle on," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "sprinkle, strew" (see sparse). Non-theological sense of "a bespattering with slander, derogatory criticism" is attested from 1590s. To cast aspersions was in Fielding (1749).

diaspora (n.)

1825 in reference to Moravian protestants; 1869 in reference to the dispersion of the Jews; from Greek diaspora "dispersion," from diaspeirein "to scatter about, disperse," from dia "about, across" (see dia-) + speirein "to scatter" (see sparse). The Greek word was used in the Septuagint in Deuteronomy xxviii.25. A Hebrew word for it is galuth "exile." The earlier word for it in English was Latinate dispersion (late 14c.). Related: Diasporic.

disperse (v.)

late 14c., dispersen, "to scatter, separate and send off or drive in different directions," from Latin dispersus, past participle of dispergere "to scatter," from dis- "apart, in every direction" (see dis-) + spargere "to scatter" (see sparse). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by tostregdan. Intransitive sense of "to separate and move apart in different directions without regularity" is from 1520s. Of clouds, fears, etc., "to dissipate," 1560s (transitive), 1590s (intransitive). Related: Dispersed; dispersing.

dispersion (n.)

late 14c., dispersioun, "the Jewish diaspora," from Old French dispersion (13c.), from Latin dispersionem (nominative dispersio) "a scattering," noun of action from past-participle stem of dispergere "to scatter," from dis- "apart, in every direction" (see dis-) + spargere "to scatter" (see sparse). Meaning "act of scattering, state of being dispersed" is from early 15c.

intersperse (v.)
1560s, from Latin interspersus "strewn, scattered, sprinkled upon," past participle of *interspergere, from inter- "between" (see inter-) + spargere "to scatter" (see sparse). Related: Interspersed; interspersing.
sperm (n.)

"male seminal fluid," late 14c., probably from Old French esperme "seed, sperm" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin sperma "seed, semen," from Greek sperma "the seed of plants, also of animals," literally "that which is sown," from speirein "to sow, scatter," from PIE *sper-mn-, from root *sper- "to spread, to sow" (see sparse). Sperm bank is attested from 1963. For sperm whale see spermaceti.

spore (n.)

"reproductive body in flowerless plants corresponding to the seeds of flowering ones," 1836, from Modern Latin spora, from Greek spora "a seed, a sowing, seed-time," related to sporas "scattered, dispersed," sporos "a sowing," from PIE *spor-, variant of root *sper- "to spread, sow" (see sparse).

sporo- 

before vowels spor-, word-forming element meaning "spore," from Greek spora "a seed, a sowing," related to sporas "scattered, dispersed," sporos "sowing," from PIE *spor-, variant of root *sper- "to spread, sow" (see sparse).

spry (adj.)

1746, "active, nimble, vigorous, lively," dialectal, perhaps a shortening and alteration of sprightly [Barnhart], or from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse sprækr, dialectal Swedish sprygg "brisk, active"), from Proto-Germanic *sprek-, perhaps from PIE root *sper- "to spread, to sow" (see sparse).