Origin of disposition

1325–75; Middle English disposicioun (< Anglo-French) < Latin dispositiōn- (stem of dispositiō), equivalent to disposit(us) (past participle of dispōnere to distribute; dispos- (see dispose) + -itus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdis·po·si·tion·al, adjectivere·dis·po·si·tion, noun

Synonyms for disposition

Synonym study

1. Disposition, temper, temperament refer to the aspects and habits of mind and emotion that one displays over a length of time. Disposition is the natural or prevailing aspect of one's mind as shown in behavior and in relationships with others: a happy disposition; a selfish disposition. Temper sometimes denotes the essential quality of one's nature: a glacial temper; usually it has to do with propensity toward anger: an even temper; a quick or hot temper. Temperament refers to the particular balance of emotions determining a person's character: an artistic temperament.

Antonyms for disposition

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

Examples from the Web for disposition

Contemporary Examples of disposition

  • The first is conscientiousness, which entails a disposition to be diligent, organized, and responsible.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How to Live Forever

    Casey Schwartz

    July 29, 2009

  • Twin and adoption studies have revealed that a disposition toward suicidal behavior is partially heritable.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is There a Suicide Gene?

    Casey Schwartz

    March 24, 2009

Historical Examples of disposition

  • He had evinced not the least sign of any disposition even to criticise.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • It has doubly convinced me of the excellency of your mind, and of the honour of your disposition.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • At the edge of the camp he paused to take in its disposition.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • The disposition to walk swiftly, which before had been a controlling thing, was gone.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Knowing what human nature is, we cannot wonder at this disposition, culpable as it was.

British Dictionary definitions for disposition



a person's usual temperament or frame of mind
a natural or acquired tendency, inclination, or habit in a person or thing
philosophy logic a property that consists not in the present state of an object, but in its propensity to change in a certain way under certain conditions, as brittleness which consists in the propensity to break when struckCompare occurrent
archaic manner of placing or arranging
Derived Formsdispositional, adjective
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 disposition

late 14c., "ordering, management," also "tendency of mind," from Old French disposicion (12c.) "arrangement, order; mood, state of mind," from Latin dispositionem (nominative dispositio) "arrangement, management," noun of action from past participle stem of disponere "to put in order, arrange" (see dispose). References to "temperament" (late 14c. in English) are from astrological use of the word for "position of a planet as a determining influence."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper