Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, 17th century
A long essay on a particular subject, especially one written as a requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree.
Examples of Dissertation in a sentence
"The architecture professor wrote her dissertation on medieval castle engineering."
"It takes years to earn a Ph.D., and at least a few of those years will be spent writing a dissertation."
“Dissertation” is taken directly from the Latin “dissertātiōn,” meaning “discourse” or “disquisition.” It is closely related to the Latin “dissertāre,” meaning “dispute” or “discuss.”
Did you Know?
In its earliest appearances in English, “dissertation” referred to pointed conversation and debate, as implied by its Latin root meaning “discourse” and “disquisition.” As time passed, “dissertation” no longer referred to a debate between two or many people in person, or even in print, but it specifically meant a long and detailed written argument, usually by a single author. The modern “dissertation” is generally a book-length piece of research and argument presented by a Ph.D. candidate at the end of their degree as a summary of the whole of their learning. In most cases, a Ph.D. candidate must “defend” their dissertation before a panel of professors, a process that recollects to the dispute and discussion meanings of the word.