Origin of dispose

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French disposer, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + poser to place (see pose1), on the model of Latin dispōnere
Related formsdis·pos·ing·ly, adverbre·dis·pose, verb (used with object), re·dis·posed, re·dis·pos·ing.
Can be confuseddispose disperse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dispose

Contemporary Examples of dispose

Historical Examples of dispose

  • He was very glad to earn money in this way, since it seemed he was to have no fish to dispose of.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • These are the property of peasant-owners, who dispose of their crops here and at Langogne.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Let him dispose of his money as he likes, as long as he does not dispose of my heart in the same way.

  • Away he posted directly to an attorney's who was empowered to dispose of the land.

  • It was disposed of, for its good, as one might dispose of a child.

British Dictionary definitions for dispose



(intr foll by of)
  1. to deal with or settle
  2. to give, sell, or transfer to another
  3. to throw out or away
  4. to consume, esp hurriedly
  5. to kill
to arrange or settle (matters) by placing into correct or final conditionman proposes, God disposes
(tr) to make willing or receptive
(tr) to adjust or place in a certain order or position
(tr often foll by to) to accustom or condition


an obsolete word for disposal, disposition
Derived Formsdisposer, noun

Word Origin for dispose

C14: from Old French disposer, from Latin dispōnere to set in different places, arrange, from dis- 1 + pōnere to place
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 dispose

late 14c., from Old French disposer (13c.) "arrange, order, control, regulate" (influenced in form by poser "to place"), from Latin disponere "put in order, arrange, distribute," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position). Related: Disposed; disposing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper