1. the act of making or becoming unlike.
  2. Phonetics. the process by which a speech sound becomes different from or less like a neighboring sound, as pilgrim [pil-grim] /ˈpɪl grɪm/ from Latin peregrīnus [per-e-gree-noo s] /ˌpɛr ɛˈgri nʊs/, and purple [pur-puh l] /ˈpɜr pəl/ from Old English purpure [poor-poore] /ˈpʊər pʊ rɛ/, or disappears entirely because of a like sound in another syllable, as in the pronunciation [guhvuh-ner] /ˈgʌv ə nər/ for governor.Compare assimilation(def 7).
  3. Biology. catabolism.


  1. the act or an instance of making dissimilar
  2. phonetics the alteration or omission of a consonant as a result of being dissimilated
  3. biology a less common word for catabolism

1874, noun of action from dissimilate.

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