dispense

verb
dis·​pense | \ di-ˈspen(t)s \
dispensed; dispensing

Definition of dispense

transitive verb

1a : to divide and share out according to a plan : to deal out in portions dispense food among the needy
b : administer dispense justice
2 : to exempt from a law or release from a vow, oath, or impediment : to give dispensation (see dispensation sense 2a) to : exempt may dispense students from this requirement
3 : to prepare and distribute (medication) dispensing pills to their patients

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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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of dispense in a Sentence

The ATM only dispenses $20 bills. a newspaper columnist who dispenses advice to millions of readers each week Pharmacists are certified to dispense medication.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ice Breakers Sugar-Free Mints Amazon customers are partial to the spicy-hot cinnamon, but these flip-top containers also dispense sour and fruity-minty options. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 8 Best Breath Mints to Carry Around With You All Day," 7 Dec. 2018 Book a tour ahead, or just stop in for a tasting (and marvel at the table wine that’s dispensed to local farmers from a sort of gas pump). Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 This latest rupture in U.S.-Russian relations presents the White House with a chance to dispense with the fictions and build a more durable relationship and world order. Peter Savodnik, The Hive, "“There Will Be No Friendship Between Trump and Putin”: The Tortured, Terrifying, End of a Scary Bromance," 30 Mar. 2018 In the Skincare Addiction subreddit, source of beauty tips both questionable and profound, one Redditor posted a query about Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, a K-beauty serum hailed for its ability to dispense sebum and blackheads. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Redditors Swear Cosrx's BHA-Packed Blackhead Power Liquid Clears Up Ingrown Hairs," 7 Sep. 2018 In addition, food and drink vendors would be allowed to dispense cutlery, napkins, condiments and lids only on request or through self-serve stations. Janie Har, The Seattle Times, "San Francisco to consider outlawing plastic straws, stirrers," 24 July 2018 With Ultimune, pump twice to dispense two small dots onto the back of your hand. The Cut, "How to Get the Most Out of Your Serum," 13 July 2018 But state laws on pharmacies vary: Six states, including Arizona, have laws or regulations that allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense medication for religious or moral reasons, according to the National Women's Law Center. NBC News, "Walgreens pharmacist refuses to give Arizona woman drug to end pregnancy," 25 June 2018 The analysis, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, landed in Washington amid talks of radical changes to the Part D program, which typically covers drugs dispensed at a pharmacy. Ike Swetlitz, STAT, "Medicare Part D spending on brand-name drugs is rising, as number of prescriptions falls," 4 June 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for 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

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Learn More about dispense

Statistics for dispense

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dispense

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

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More Definitions for dispense

dispense

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dispense

: to give or provide (something)

: to prepare and give (medicine)

dispense

verb
dis·​pense | \ di-ˈspens \
dispensed; dispensing

Kids Definition of dispense

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.

dispense

transitive verb
dis·​pense | \ dis-ˈpen(t)s \
dispensed; dispensing

Medical Definition of dispense

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dispense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dispense

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dispense

Spanish Central: Translation of dispense

Nglish: Translation of dispense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dispense for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dispense

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