had been rapidly dissipated

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chong lee

Senior Member
türkçe
Hi,
The quote is from the story "Excepting Mrs. Pentherby" by H. H. Munro.

What does it mean "more than one threatening disagreement had been rapidly dissipated by her obvious and malicious attempts" ? I could not find
a proper meaning for "dissipated".
Thank you.
There was no question of taking sides, as the Major had anticipated; in fact, dislike of Mrs. Pentherby was almost a bond of union between the other women, and more than one threatening disagreement had been rapidly dissipated by her obvious and malicious attempts to inflame and extend it; and the most irritating thing about her was her successful assumption of unruffled composure at moments when the tempers of her adversaries were with difficulty kept under control.
 
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The American Heritage Dictionary has: "To drive away or dispel by or as if by dispersing; rout; scatter." In this instance, Mrs. Pentherby apparently is having the opposite effect of what she intends. Think of the effect the sun has on early morning fog. That is dissipation. Of course, the problem is that the word has somewhat dissimilar meanings. A person who is dissipated is someone with bad habits that have affected his health, etcetera.
     

    chong lee

    Senior Member
    türkçe
    Sorry RedwoodGrove , I do not get it.
    Mrs. Pentherby does not originate quarrel but she dissipates it?
    And she does it calmly(assumption of unruffled composure) ?
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Mrs. Pentherby is trying to cause disagreement. The other ladies recognize her intent and have formed a bond in opposition to her. This bond serves to dissipate or dispel the disagreement or rancor that Mrs. Pentherby's actions would otherwise cause.

    Let's say you had an acquaintance, person A, who is somewhat evil and who is always causing trouble. You also have a friend, person B, who is good with whom you form a bond to resist the other person's evil intent. In this way, person A's actions actually cause you and person B to have peace between you. Person A's actions have the opposite of the intended effect.
     
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