dispensation

noun
dis·​pen·​sa·​tion | \ ˌdis-pən-ˈsā-shən, -ˌpen-\

Definition of dispensation

1a : a general state or ordering of things specifically : a system of revealed (see reveal entry 1 sense 1) commands and promises regulating human affairs a privilege maintained under the new dispensation
b : a particular arrangement or provision especially of providence or nature involving special dispensation by the Church
2a : an exemption from a law or from an impediment, vow, or oath may be granted a dispensation from the rule
b : a formal authorization requested a dispensation to form another lodge
3a : the act of dispensing the dispensation of medication
b : something dispensed or distributed … one of the most remarkable cultural dispensations in the country's history, the paperback book.— T. E. Cooney

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Other Words from dispensation

dispensational \ -​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of dispensation in a Sentence

The priest asked for dispensation from his vows. The state gave the town a special dispensation, allowing it to ignore the law in this case.

Recent Examples on the Web

The measure excuses anyone caring for a young child or going to school, among other dispensations. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Making America Work Again," 3 Aug. 2018 The decision, in a unanimous vote here Sunday, came after two failed drug tests by Russian athletes — among nearly 170 competing here under a special dispensation — and after a long night of talks among senior I.O.C. officials. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Russians Won’t Get to March Behind Their Flag at the Olympic Closing Ceremony," 24 Feb. 2018 States can waive the time limit with an Agriculture Department dispensation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Food Stamp Farce," 22 Aug. 2018 In the case of the Republicans, there was a lot of drama, and some Never Trump people ended up leaving the party, but most Republican leaders stayed around and made their peace with the new dispensation. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Democratic Party is on an identity quest.," 6 July 2018 Polk got special dispensation from Amazon to use the Echo’s industrial design. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Polk Command Bar review: As seen near TV," 3 July 2018 It is understood that the stadium build is making good progress, however deadlines are tight - which has led to Spurs receiving this special dispensation for their first few home games. SI.com, "Tottenham to Start 2018/19 Season at Wembley Amid Fears That New Stadium Will Not Be Ready in Time," 13 June 2018 The winners in this new dispensation feel their privilege has been earned, rendering them self-satisfied and unresponsive. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "The Cry of the Centrist: In ‘Tailspin,’ Steven Brill Bemoans a Polarized America," 5 June 2018 Hours later, reporters learned of the drinking, work environment, and medication dispensation allegations. Alex Ward, Vox, "Ronny Jackson, Trump’s Veterans Affairs nominee, is facing serious allegations," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dispensation.' 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 dispensation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dispensation

see dispense

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for dispensation

The first known use of dispensation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for dispensation

dispensation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dispensation

: permission to break a law or an official promise you have made : release from a rule, vow, or oath

: an act of providing something to people

dispensation

noun
dis·​pen·​sa·​tion | \ ˌdis-pən-ˈsā-shən, -ˌpen- \

Medical Definition of dispensation

: the act of dispensing the dispensation of medicines

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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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