- to deal out; distribute: to dispense wisdom.
- to administer: to dispense the law without bias.
- Pharmacology. to make up and distribute (medicine), especially on prescription.
- Roman Catholic Church. to grant dispensation.
- to grant dispensation.
- Obsolete. expenditure.
- dispense with,
- to do without; forgo: to dispense with preliminaries.
- to do away with; rid of.
- to grant exemption from a law or promise.
Origin of dispense
SynonymsSee more synonyms for dispense on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dispensing
Yet here we are, dispensing another dollop of inhumanity to some of the most troubled and despised people in America.The GOP’s Hidden Ban on Prison Abortions
December 13, 2014
This is not a popularity contest, it is about dispensing justice.Oscar Pistorius Is Expected to Spend Less Than Two Years in Jail
October 21, 2014
Dispensing money to make problems go away was not an unusual thing for Michael Jackson back in his heyday.Exclusive: Michael Jackson Hit With New Sex Abuse Claim
May 12, 2014
Dispensing with some of the objections helps to illuminate this case.The Case For Cutting Off Aid to Egypt
July 11, 2013
The New York Times is dispensing advice on how to win a bidding war in the brutally competitive local market.Mortgage Rates Are Rising. Will the Housing Recovery Falter?
June 4, 2013
Camille was there, dispensing its promiscuous hospitality to men who ate like pigs.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
Thorough knowledge of obstetrics and dispensing indispensable.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
How could she shrink from the blessedness of dispensing the divine mercy?The Faith Doctor
The strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything.Pearls of Thought
Maturin M. Ballou
To moralise this story, Virgil is the Apollo who has this dispensing power.Discourses on Satire and on Epic Poetry
- (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 and History for dispensing
early 14c., from Old French dispenser "give out" (13c.), from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)," frequentative of dispendere "pay out," from dis- "out" (see dis-) + pendere "to pay, weigh" (see pendant).
In Medieval Latin, dispendere was used in the ecclesiastical sense of "grant license to do what is forbidden or omit what is required" (a power of popes, bishops, etc.), and thus acquired a sense of "grant remission from punishment or exemption from law," hence "to do away with" (1570s), "do without" (c.1600). Older sense is preserved in dispensary. Related: Dispensed; dispensing.
- To prepare and give out medicines.