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[dis-mis] /dɪsˈmɪs/
verb (used with object)
to direct (an assembly of persons) to disperse or go:
I dismissed the class early.
to bid or allow (a person) to go; give permission or a request to depart.
to discharge or remove, as from office or service:
to dismiss an employee.
to discard or reject:
to dismiss a suitor.
to put off or away, especially from consideration; put aside; reject:
She dismissed the story as mere rumor.
to have done with (a subject) after summary treatment:
After a perfunctory discussion, he dismissed the idea.
Law. to put out of court, as a complaint or appeal.
Origin of dismiss
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin dismissus (for Latin dīmissus, past participle of dīmittere to send away), equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + mitt(ere) to send + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
dismissible, adjective
predismiss, verb (used with object)
redismiss, verb (used with object)
undismissed, adjective
3. fire.
2. recall. 3. hire. 4. accept.
Synonym Study
2. See release. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dismiss
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Therefore, I dismiss the fear of untimely separation from my appointed work.

  • It will not do to dismiss this as unhealthiness or morbidness of mind.

    Understanding the Scriptures Francis McConnell
  • Kingozi was about to dismiss him, but this arrested his intention.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • This was a most unpleasant reflection and Martin preferred to dismiss it.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • He had too much insight, and too much exact information as well, to dismiss them as rot.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for dismiss


verb (transitive)
to remove or discharge from employment or service
to send away or allow to go or disperse
to dispel from one's mind; discard; reject
to cease to consider (a subject): they dismissed the problem
to decline further hearing to (a claim or action): the judge dismissed the case
(cricket) to bowl out (a side) for a particular number of runs
sentence substitute
(military) an order to end an activity or give permission to disperse
Derived Forms
dismissible, adjective
dismissive, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin dismissus sent away, variant of Latin dīmissus, from dīmittere, from dī-dis-1 + mittere to send
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dismiss

early 15c., from Latin dimissus, past participle of dimittere "send away, send different ways; break up, discharge; renounce, abandon," from dis- "apart, away" (see dis-) + mittere "send, let go" (see mission). Prefix altered by analogy with many dis- verbs. Dismit, in the same sense, is attested from late 14c. Related: Dismissed; dismissing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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