dis·​pens·​able di-ˈspen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce dispensable (audio)
: capable of being dispensed with
dispensability noun

Example Sentences

Computers have made typewriters dispensable. Do you consider any of the staff to be dispensable?
Recent Examples on the Web The point of both is that the hellishness of battle—as experienced by those who actually fight it—makes dispensable such luxuries as dignity, honor and even civilization. John Anderson, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2022 No one blinks at this, as businesses see contract workers as dispensable. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022 Even if this largely dispensable album quickly disappears, which seems likely, Beck may end up paying for it — at least in terms of his musical credibility — for some time to come. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2022 For too long, these vendors have been marginalized, treated as dispensable, come-and-go providers of goods and services who can be hired in good times and fired in bad times. Christian Schuh, Fortune, 27 June 2022 The violence inherent in extractive capitalism and the particular logic that allows for some lives to be rendered utterly dispensable is intimated rather than stated. Anelise Chen, The Atlantic, 17 May 2022 Unlike the fast-growing Chinese market, Russia’s is dispensable for Western aviation. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2022 Asian immigrants initially were portrayed as cheap, dispensable labor. NBC News, 1 Mar. 2022 Both regimes relied on propaganda and terror; both treated their populations as dispensable. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1649, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dispensable was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near dispensable

Cite this Entry

“Dispensable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispensable. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



dis·​pens·​able dis-ˈpen(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce dispensable (audio)
: not necessary : nonessential
dispensability noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dispensable

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