dis·​miss | \ dis-ˈmis How to pronounce dismiss (audio) \
dismissed; dismissing; dismisses

Definition of dismiss

transitive verb

1 : to permit or cause to leave dismiss the visitors Class is dismissed.
2 : to remove from position or service : discharge dismissed the thievish servant
3a : to reject serious consideration of dismissed the thought
b law : to put out of judicial consideration : refuse to hear or hear further in court dismiss all charges This case is dismissed.
4 : to put out (a batsman) in cricket

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Other Words from dismiss

dismission \ -​ˈmi-​shən How to pronounce dismission (audio) \ noun
dismissive \ -​ˈmi-​siv How to pronounce dismissive (audio) \ adjective
dismissively adverb

Examples of dismiss in a Sentence

I don't think we should dismiss the matter lightly. The students were dismissed early because of the snowstorm. Several employees were recently dismissed.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Severance and Van Alen dismissed these announcements as nothing more than builders talking big. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 In Georgia, a trial judge recently dismissed a similar lawsuit brought by the widow of firefighter Jeff Little against the city of Waycross and Fire Chief David Eddins. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 On Monday, a prosecutor dismissed the charges, the station reported. Farnoush Amiri, NBC News, "Georgia officers on leave over after coin-toss used before decision to make arrest," 13 July 2018 In 2017, Hughes, 73, dismissed fraud charges filed against Swenson in a ruling that blamed federal prosecutors for botching the case. Lise Olsen, Houston Chronicle, "Federal Judge Lynn Hughes criticized by appeals court for ‘demeaning’ sexist remarks in criminal case," 7 July 2018 Jeanie Buss dismissed Jim Buss as vice president of basketball operations in February 2017 and hired Johnson. Nathan Fenno, latimes.com, "It was 16 months ago when Jeanie Buss made a daring move to seize control of the Lakers," 4 July 2018 The Commonwealth Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Elemental Health Group LLC against the Health Department and permit winner Terrapin Investment Fund 1 LLC. Andrew Wagaman, Philly.com, "Pa. court dismisses another challenge to medical marijuana program," 29 June 2018 In upholding Trump’s travel ban, the Supreme Court dismissed the argument that clear expressions of bigotry and hostility — religious animus, specifically — prove discriminatory intent and undermine any claim of credible government action. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Anti-Muslim prejudice matters in a Maryland county, but not at the White House?," 28 June 2018 In August, a county judge dismissed a lawsuit to remove one of three initiatives to legalize medical marijuana from this year’s ballot in Missouri, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Marijuana in the 2018 Midterms: A State-by-State Guide," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dismiss.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dismiss

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dismiss

Middle English, modification of Latin dimissus, past participle of dimittere, from dis- + mittere to send

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Statistics for dismiss

Last Updated

5 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dismiss

The first known use of dismiss was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for dismiss



English Language Learners Definition of dismiss

: to decide not to think about or consider (something or someone)
: to send (someone) away : to cause or allow (someone) to leave
: to officially make (someone) leave a job : to end the employment or service of (someone)


dis·​miss | \ dis-ˈmis How to pronounce dismiss (audio) \
dismissed; dismissing

Kids Definition of dismiss

1 : to allow or cause to leave dismiss a class
2 : to remove from a job or position She dismissed her assistant.
3 : to decide not to think about He dismissed the criticism.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of dismiss

1 : to remove from position or service dismissed the employee
2 : to bring about or order the dismissal of (an action) the suit was dismissed

intransitive verb

: to bring about or order a dismissal the plaintiff moved to dismiss

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More from Merriam-Webster on dismiss

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dismiss

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dismiss

Spanish Central: Translation of dismiss

Nglish: Translation of dismiss for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dismiss for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dismiss

What made you want to look up dismiss? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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