[ dih-spen-suh-buhl ]
/ dɪˈspɛn sə bəl /
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capable of being dispensed with or done without; not necessary or essential.
capable of being dispensed or administered: The money is not dispensable at present.
Roman Catholic Church. capable of being permitted or forgiven, as an offense or sin.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of dispensable

1525–35; <Medieval Latin dispēnsābilis, equivalent to Latin dispēns(āre) to distribute by weight (see dispense) + -ābilis-able

OTHER WORDS FROM dispensable

dis·pen·sa·bil·i·ty, dis·pen·sa·ble·ness, nounnon·dis·pens·a·ble, adjectiveun·dis·pen·sa·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for dispensable

/ (dɪˈspɛnsəbəl) /


not essential; expendable
capable of being distributed
(of a law, vow, etc) able to be relaxed

Derived forms of dispensable

dispensability or dispensableness, noun
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

Medical definitions for dispensable

[ dĭ-spĕnsə-bəl ]


Capable of being dispensed, administered, or distributed. Used of a drug.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.