Origin of dispense

1275–1325; Middle English dispensen < Medieval Latin dispēnsāre to pardon, exempt, Latin: to pay out, distribute, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + pēnsāre, frequentative of pendere to weigh

Related forms

un·dis·pensed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See distribute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dispense with

dispense

/ (dɪˈspɛns) /

verb

(tr) to give out or issue in portions
(tr) to prepare and distribute (medicine), esp on prescription
(tr) to administer (the law, etc)
(intr foll by with) to do away (with) or manage (without)
to grant a dispensation to (someone) from (some obligation of church law)
to exempt or excuse from a rule or obligation

Word Origin for dispense

C14: from Medieval Latin dispensāre to pardon, from Latin dispendere to weigh out, from dis- 1 + pendere to weigh

usage

Dispense with is sometimes wrongly used where dispose of is meant: this task can be disposed of (not dispensed with) quickly and easily
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

Medicine definitions for dispense with

dispense

[ dĭ-spĕns ]

v.

To prepare and give out medicines.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with dispense with

dispense with


1

Manage without, forgo, as in We can dispense with the extra help. Shakespeare had this idiom in Timon of Athens (3:2): “Men must learn now with pity to dispense.” [c. 1600]

2

Get rid of, do away with, as in The European Union is trying to dispense with tariff barriers. [Late 1500s]

3

Exempt one from a law, promise, or obligation, as in He asked the court to dispense with swearing on the Bible. This usage originally applied to religious obligations (to which the Pope granted dispensation). [Early 1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.