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[dih-spohz] /dɪˈspoʊz/
verb (used with object), disposed, disposing.
to give a tendency or inclination to; incline:
His temperament disposed him to argue readily with people.
to put in a particular or the proper order or arrangement; adjust by arranging the parts.
to put in a particular or suitable place:
The lamp was disposed on a table nearby.
to make fit or ready; prepare:
Your words of cheer dispose me for the task.
verb (used without object), disposed, disposing.
to arrange or decide matters:
to do as God disposes.
Obsolete. to make terms.
Archaic. disposition; habit.
Obsolete. arrangement; regulation; disposal.
Verb phrases
dispose of,
  1. to deal with conclusively; settle.
  2. to get rid of; discard.
  3. to transfer or give away, as by gift or sale.
  4. to do away with; destroy.
Origin of dispose
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French disposer, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + poser to place (see pose1), on the model of Latin dispōnere
Related forms
disposingly, adverb
redispose, verb (used with object), redisposed, redisposing.
Can be confused
dispose, disperse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dispose
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I also wanted to deposit some money and dispose of some mules that I would not need, on my trip.

    The Indians' Last Fight Dennis Collins
  • As the easiest way to dispose of this matter, Smith handed the man $5.

    The Story of the Mormons William Alexander Linn
  • But his sad face is a sorry recommendation of the treasures of comfort he proposes to dispose of.

  • But if he did not dispose of the flowers to some one, as the longshoreman had ordered, what then?

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • It will take over the management of abandoned estates till such time as it can dispose of them to the greatest advantage.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
British Dictionary definitions for dispose


(intransitive) foll by of
  1. to deal with or settle
  2. to give, sell, or transfer to another
  3. to throw out or away
  4. to consume, esp hurriedly
  5. to kill
to arrange or settle (matters) by placing into correct or final condition: man proposes, God disposes
(transitive) to make willing or receptive
(transitive) to adjust or place in a certain order or position
(transitive) often foll by to. to accustom or condition
an obsolete word for disposal, disposition
Derived Forms
disposer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French disposer, from Latin dispōnere to set in different places, arrange, from dis-1 + pōnere to place
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 dispose

late 14c., from Old French disposer (13c.) "arrange, order, control, regulate" (influenced in form by poser "to place"), from Latin disponere "put in order, arrange, distribute," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position). Related: Disposed; disposing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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