dis·​pens·​er | \-ˈspen(t)-sər \

Definition of dispenser 

: one that dispenses: such as

a : a container that extrudes, sprays, or feeds out in convenient units a soap dispenser

b : a usually mechanical device for vending merchandise

Examples of dispenser in a Sentence

hospitals and other health-care dispensers

Recent Examples on the Web

By installing sensors above the hand-sanitizer dispensers, the researchers collected thousands of images and annotated about 80% of them, labeling if someone had sanitized their hands or not when entering or exiting a patient’s room. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Do Doctors and Nurses Skip Hand Washing? Cue the Video," 28 May 2018 The dispensers cost $9,200 plus an additional $190 per month for content and software. Laura M. Holson, New York Times, "The Vending Machine That Spits Out Short Stories," 16 Apr. 2018 Publicly traded Fortive is the parent of more than 20 companies, many of them longstanding technology businesses including electronics firm Fluke, auto tool business Matco and gasoline dispenser company Gilbarco. Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times, "Everett-based Fortive to buy construction tech company Gordian for $775 million," 2 July 2018 Covered in an elaborate mosaic of mirrors, the building has a glittery, twirling, 10-foot-tall sculpture of drag queen Divine, by the British artist Andrew Logan and an impressive Pez dispenser collection featuring three versions of Elvis. New York Times, "Place 19 of 52: A Celebration of African-American Culture in Baltimore," 29 June 2018 The company ships its customers refillable dispensers along with rolls of plastic packages that hold their pills. BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon to buy Somerville online pharmacy startup PillPack," 28 June 2018 To help tackle the problem, Dr. Milstein and his colleagues designed a series of studies to see if computer vision could tell whether people used hand-sanitizer dispensers before entering and exiting patients’ rooms. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Do Doctors and Nurses Skip Hand Washing? Cue the Video," 28 May 2018 Smart pill dispensers with alerts are a good way to keep medications organized, especially if the routine requires a lot of daily pills. Martina Schimitschek, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Stay ahead of the caregiving tsunami: Get organized," 27 Apr. 2018 The dispensers come in a range of options, from simple alarms to sophisticated systems, such as MedMinder, that will notify caregivers if the medication wasn’t taken. Martina Schimitschek, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Stay ahead of the caregiving tsunami: Get organized," 27 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for dispenser

Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for dispenser

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

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More Definitions for dispenser



English Language Learners Definition of dispenser

: a machine or container that lets you take small amounts of something

: a person or organization that gives or provides something to people


dis·​pens·​er | \di-ˈspen-sər \

Kids Definition of dispenser

: a container that gives out something in small amounts a soap dispenser

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Comments on dispenser

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


noxious or harmful

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