Dictionary

dispense

verb dis·pense \di-ˈspen(t)s\

: to give or provide (something)

: to prepare and give (medicine)

dis·penseddis·pens·ing

Full Definition of DISPENSE

transitive verb
1
a :  to deal out in portions
b :  administer <dispense justice>
2
:  to give dispensation to :  exempt
3
:  to prepare and distribute (medication)
intransitive verb
archaic :  to grant dispensation
dispense with
1
:  to set aside :  discard <dispensing with the usual introduction>
2
:  to do without <could dispense with such a large staff>
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Examples of DISPENSE

  1. The ATM only dispenses $20 bills.
  2. a newspaper columnist who dispenses advice to millions of readers each week
  3. Pharmacists are certified to dispense medication.

Origin of DISPENSE

Middle English, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin dispensare to exempt, from Latin, to distribute, from dis- + pensare to weigh, frequentative of pendere to weigh, pay out — more at spin
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of DISPENSE

distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole out mean to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group. distribute implies an apportioning by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts <distributed food to the needy>. dispense suggests the giving of a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group according to due or need <dispensed wisdom to the students>. divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal <three charitable groups divided the proceeds>. deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece <deal out equipment and supplies>. dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply <doled out what little food there was>.
DISPENSE Defined for Kids

dispense

verb dis·pense \di-ˈspens\
dis·penseddis·pens·ing

Definition of DISPENSE for Kids

1
:  to give out in small amounts <The machine dispenses candy.>
2
:  to give out as deserved <The judge dispensed justice.>
3
:  to put up or prepare medicine in a form ready for use
dispense with
:  to do or get along without <Let's dispense with introductions.>
Medical Dictionary

dispense

transitive verb dis·pense \dis-ˈpen(t)s\
dis·penseddis·pens·ing

Medical Definition of DISPENSE

1
:  to put up (a prescription or medicine)
2
:  to prepare and distribute (medication)

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