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verb (used with object), pre·dis·posed, pre·dis·pos·ing.
  1. to give an inclination or tendency to beforehand; make susceptible: Genetic factors may predispose human beings to certain metabolic diseases.
  2. to render subject, susceptible, or liable: The evidence predisposes him to public censure.
  3. to dispose beforehand.
  4. Archaic. to dispose of beforehand, as in a will, legacy, or the like.
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verb (used without object), pre·dis·posed, pre·dis·pos·ing.
  1. to give or furnish a tendency or inclination: an underground job that predisposes to lung infection.
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Origin of predispose

First recorded in 1640–50; pre- + dispose
Related formspre·dis·pos·al, nounpre·dis·pos·ed·ly [pree-di-spoh-zid-lee, -spohzd-] /ˌpri dɪˈspoʊ zɪd li, -ˈspoʊzd-/, adverbpre·dis·pos·ed·ness, nounun·pre·dis·posed, adjectiveun·pre·dis·pos·ing, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

dispose, incline, prime, urge, activate, prompt, inspire, prepare, teach, indoctrinate, impress, induce, lead, bias, prejudice, bend, govern, strike, affect, animate

Examples from the Web for predispose

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Your attentions flatter her, and predispose her to capitulate.

  • Lemm's external appearance did not predispose one in his favour.

    A Nobleman's Nest

    Ivan Turgenieff

  • For this reason we believe that scurvy may predispose to frostbite.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • And among women, it is only arid souls whom it does not predispose to love.

  • As a matter of fact, he will have so disturbed himself as to predispose to insomnia.


    James J. Walsh

British Dictionary definitions for predispose


verb (tr)
  1. (often foll by to or towards) to incline or make (someone) susceptible to something beforehand
  2. mainly law to dispose of (property, etc) beforehand; bequeath
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Derived Formspredisposal, noun
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 predispose


1640s, "to put into a certain frame of mind," perhaps a back-formation from predisposition. Related: Predisposed; predisposing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

predispose in Medicine


  1. To make susceptible, as to a disease.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.