a person or thing that dispenses.
a container, package, device, or vending machine for holding and dispensing something in small amounts, as facial tissue, paper cups, or candy.

Origin of dispenser

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at dispense, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dispenser

Historical Examples of dispenser

  • Such a contingency as this had never been foreseen by that dispenser of proverbs.

  • You are the dispenser of the King's high justice in this province.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • I called to the Bengali dispenser, and hastened away from the room.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • He seems to have been not only the dispenser of the money, but the captain of the men.

  • “Apply to the dispenser of the hospital,” continued his wife.

British Dictionary definitions for dispenser



a device, such as a vending machine, that automatically dispenses a single item or a measured quantity
a person or thing that dispenses
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 dispenser

c.1400, "one who administers" (a household, etc.), c.1200 in surnames, from Anglo-French dispensour, Old French despenseor, from Latin dispensatorem, agent noun from dispensare (see dispense). Meaning "a container that dispenses in fixed measure" is from 1918.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper