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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


Examples from the Web for predisposing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But the predisposing causes for the assertion of independence were nearer home.


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • Whether he was conscious of any predisposing cause was another question.

    The Short-story

    William Patterson Atkinson

  • We had, I think, none of the predisposing causes of fever at our place.

  • Whether he was conscious of any predisposing cause, was another question.

  • A previous attack is a predisposing influence to its recurrence.

    Sporting Dogs

    Frank Townend Barton

British Dictionary definitions for predisposing


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 predisposing



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

predisposing 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.