1

dispatch

verb dis·patch \ di-ˈspach \

Definition of dispatch

transitive verb
1 :to send off or away with promptness or speed
  • dispatch a letter
  • dispatch an ambulance to the scene
; especially :to send off on official business
  • dispatch a messenger
2 a :to kill with quick efficiency
  • dispatched the deer with one shot
b obsolete :deprive
3 :to dispose of (something, such as a task) rapidly or efficiently
  • anxious to dispatch the matter
  • … household business could not be dispatched hastily by Mrs. Tulliver.
  • —George Eliot
4 :defeat 3
  • easily dispatching each team they played
intransitive verb
archaic :to make haste :hurry

dispatcher

noun

Examples of dispatch in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of dispatch from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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

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

2

dispatch

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

Definition of dispatch

1 a :a message sent with speed; especially :an important official message sent by a diplomatic, military, or naval officer
  • sent a dispatch to headquarters
b :a news item filed (see 4file 2b) by a correspondent
  • dispatches from the war zone
2 :the act of dispatching: such as
a obsolete :dismissal
b :the act of killing
c (1) :prompt settlement (as of an item of business)
  • Tom Pinch and his sister having to part, for the dispatch of the morning's business …, had no opportunity of discussing the subject at that time.
  • —Charles Dickens
(2) :quick riddance
d :a sending off :shipment
  • the immediate dispatch of supplies to the front
3 :promptness and efficiency in performance or transmission
  • done with dispatch

Examples of dispatch in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of dispatch from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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


DISPATCH Defined for English Language Learners

dispatch

verb

Definition of dispatch for English Language Learners

  • : 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


dispatch

noun

Definition of dispatch for English Language Learners

  • : 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


DISPATCH Defined for Kids

1

dispatch

verb dis·patch \ di-ˈspach \

Definition of dispatch for Students

dispatched; dispatching
1 :to send away quickly to a certain place or for a certain reason
  • The general dispatched a messenger.
2 :to get done quickly
  • She dispatched one job and moved to the next.
3 :1kill 1
  • dispatch a sick animal

dispatcher

noun

2

dispatch

noun

Definition of dispatch for Students

1 :message 1 Send a dispatch to headquarters.
2 :a news story sent in to a newspaper
3 :1speed 1
  • You must act with dispatch.


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