View synonyms for dispensable


[ dih-spen-suh-buhl ]


  1. capable of being dispensed with or done without; not necessary or essential.

    Synonyms: unimportant, extraneous, unessential, unnecessary, expendable

  2. capable of being dispensed or administered:

    The money is not dispensable at present.

  3. Roman Catholic Church. capable of being permitted or forgiven, as an offense or sin.


/ dɪˈspɛnsəbəl /


  1. not essential; expendable
  2. capable of being distributed
  3. (of a law, vow, etc) able to be relaxed
“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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Derived Forms

  • disˌpensaˈbility, noun
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Other Words From

  • dis·pensa·bili·ty dis·pensa·ble·ness noun
  • nondis·pensa·ble adjective
  • undis·pensa·ble adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of dispensable1

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

Many parents cannot afford to take unpaid leave, and those who do take time off often feel pressure to return to work or worry that they will seem dispensable.

From Time

Dispensable human warmth is enough of a sell, even without the dolls and magical pictures on sale at her traveling carnival.

Even in the guise of a retired grandfather, or a dispensable uncle?

For those who remained, the departure of Axelrod and Gibbs sent a clear message: they were all dispensable.

We are again being tossed aside as dispensable pawns on an international chess board.

Ohio and North Carolina may be dispensable, but Obama has to have Pennsylvania (20) and Michigan (16).

By the time we crawled into sleeping-bags, everything dispensable was piled alongside the depot-flag.

And deferentially he stood waiting, but as if conscious of being dispensable, to be asked to take her home.

We are thus once more reminded of the distinction between essential or unavoidable relational concepts and the dispensable type.

It did not seem to me profitable to be killed for the sake of a sentiment which seemed weak and dispensable.

The baron, my galling and dispensable old Hohenfels, would have arrived and scolded.