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verb dis·patch \di-ˈspach\

Simple Definition of dispatch

  • : to send (someone or something) quickly to a particular place for a particular purpose

  • : to defeat (a person or team) in a game, contest, etc.

  • : to kill (a person or animal) quickly

Full Definition of dispatch

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to send off or away with promptness or speed; especially :  to send off on official business

  3. 2 a :  to kill with quick efficiency b obsolete :  deprive

  4. 3 :  to dispose of (as a task) rapidly or efficiently

  5. 4 :  defeat 3

  6. intransitive verb
  7. archaic :  to make haste :  hurry

dis·patch·er noun

Examples of dispatch

  1. Rescue workers were immediately dispatched to the area.

  2. The hotel dispatched a limo to pick us up from the airport.

  3. He dispatched the guard with one bullet.

Origin of dispatch

Spanish despachar or Italian dispacciare, from Occitan despachar to get rid of, from Middle French despechier to set free, from Old French, from des- dis- + -pechier (as in enpechier to ensnare) — more at impeach

First Known Use: 1517

Synonym Discussion of dispatch

kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner <killed in an accident> <frost killed the plants>. slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive <slew thousands of the Philistines>. murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility <convicted of murdering a rival>. assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives <terrorists assassinated the Senator>. dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death <dispatched the sentry with one bullet>. execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty <executed by lethal gas>.



noun dis·patch \di-ˈspach, ˈdis-ˌpach\

Simple Definition of dispatch

  • : an important official message

  • : the act of sending someone or something to a particular place for a particular purpose

  • : a news story that a reporter sends to a newspaper usually from a foreign country

Full Definition of dispatch

  1. 1 a :  a message sent with speed; especially :  an important official message sent by a diplomatic, military, or naval officer b :  a news item filed by a correspondent

  2. 2 :  the act of dispatching: as a obsolete :  dismissal b :  the act of killing c (1) :  prompt settlement (as of an item of business) (2) :  quick riddance d :  a sending off :  shipment

  3. 3 :  promptness and efficiency in performance or transmission <done with dispatch>

Examples of dispatch

  1. The general sent a dispatch to headquarters.

  2. He requested the immediate dispatch of supplies.

  3. The reporter sent many dispatches from the war zone.


First Known Use of dispatch


Synonym Discussion of dispatch

haste, hurry, speed, expedition, dispatch mean quickness in movement or action. haste applies to personal action and implies urgency and precipitancy and often rashness <marry in haste>. hurry often has a strong suggestion of agitated bustle or confusion <in the hurry of departure she forgot her toothbrush>. speed suggests swift efficiency in movement or action <exercises to increase your reading speed>. expedition and dispatch both imply speed and efficiency in handling affairs but expedition stresses ease or efficiency of performance and dispatch stresses promptness in concluding matters <the case came to trial with expedition> <paid bills with dispatch>.

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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