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noun, plural dis·pen·sa·ries.
  1. a place where something is dispensed, especially medicines.
  2. a charitable or public facility where medicines are furnished and free or inexpensive medical advice is available.
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Origin of dispensary

1690–1700; < Medieval Latin dispēnsāria storeroom, equivalent to Latin dispēns(āre) to dispense + -āria -ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dispensary


noun plural -ries
  1. a place where medicine and medical supplies are dispensed
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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

Word Origin and History for dispensary


"place for weighing out medicines," 1690s, from Medieval Latin dispensarius "one who dispenses," from Latin dispensare (see dispense).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dispensary in Medicine


  1. An office in a hospital or other institution from which medical supplies and medicines are dispensed.
  2. A public institution that dispenses medicines or medical aid.
  3. An outpatient department of a hospital.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.