In science, a dissipative system refers to a thermodynamic system that is “dissipative” in that usable energy is converted into non-recoverable forms of work.  The term, in large part, is an etymological evolution of Belgian thermodynamicist Ilya Prigogine’s 1967 theory of “dissipative structures”, a nonequilibrium thermodynamics type of theory which itself modeled on the spontaneous formations of the heat-transfer driven Bénard cells “structures”.
1. Harris, John W., Benenson, Walter, Stocker, Horst, and Lutz, Holger. (2002). Handbook of Physics. (section: dissipative systems, pgs. 219-21). Springer.
● Dissipative system – Wikipedia.