dis·pose | \di-ˈspōz \
disposed; disposing

Definition of dispose 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give a tendency to : incline faulty diet disposes one to sickness

2a : to put in place : set in readiness : arrange disposing troops for withdrawal

b obsolete : regulate

c : bestow

intransitive verb

1 : to settle a matter finally

2 obsolete : to come to terms

dispose of

1 : to place, distribute, or arrange especially in an orderly way disposing of the weapons in the new fort

2a : to transfer to the control of another disposing of personal property to a total stranger

b(1) : to get rid of how to dispose of toxic waste

(2) : to deal with conclusively disposed of the matter efficiently



Definition of dispose (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : disposal

2 obsolete

a : disposition

b : demeanor

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Other Words from dispose


disposer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dispose


incline, bias, dispose, predispose mean to influence one to have or take an attitude toward something. incline implies a tendency to favor one of two or more actions or conclusions. I incline to agree bias suggests a settled and predictable leaning in one direction and connotes unfair prejudice. the experience biased him against foreigners dispose suggests an affecting of one's mood or temper so as to incline one toward something. her nature disposes her to trust others predispose implies the operation of a disposing influence well in advance of the opportunity to manifest itself. does fictional violence predispose them to accept real violence?

Examples of dispose in a Sentence


looking for the perfect spot to dispose the new knickknack disposed the surgical instruments in the exact order in which they would be needed

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In addition, the court found that the will, even if valid, had no specific details on how to dispose of the remains. Stephanie Becker, CNN, "Judge decides grandson will get Charles Manson's body," 12 Mar. 2018 These injections have gone on for a long time, but very little wastewater was disposed of this way until 2012. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Wastewater injections set off a Kansas earthquake binge," 26 Feb. 2018 Researchers hoped the device would stay on until the following year, when the seal would dispose of it in its annual molting. Kasha Patel, Smithsonian, "How Data-Gathering Seals Help Scientists Measure the Melting Antarctic," 13 July 2018 Yard debris including leaves, grass and tree limbs cannot be burned and must be disposed of through curbside trash removal, the solid waste service transfer site or the landfill. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage burn ban eased amid cool and rainy weather," 12 July 2018 Like many of its peers, Smucker is investing in faster-growing businesses like coffee and pet food while disposing of brands that were dragging down sales. Annie Gasparro, WSJ, "Smucker Dumps Pillsbury Doughboy," 9 July 2018 When disposed of in a landfill, paper straws decompose at a much faster rate than plastic ones. Alana Wise And Caroline Hroncich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Starbucks to phase out plastic straws by 2020," 9 July 2018 This is where Cooper Jackson disposed of the handcuffs, the knife and the shovel, all of which were used in the murder of Justin Huff. CBS News, "Catfishing relationship between strangers leads to the murder of an innocent Marine," 19 June 2018 But what Blanc didn’t know was that a neighbor’s home had video cameras that recorded him disposing of the body, police say. Linda Trischitta, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Killer shot father-in-law in back because he couldn't look in his eyes, cops say," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To prevent intentional or unintentional overexposure to these medications, Alexander also suggests that parents store them in a safe place and dispose of any unused medications. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Unnecessary and accidental use of ADHD drugs increases over 60%, study suggests," 21 May 2018 The take-make-dispose model has not only environmental but also economic and social costs, new research shows. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Fast fashion fuels sustainable-apparel movement," 11 July 2018 Gambino dances away, appearing unconcerned, as children dispose of the evidence. Solomon Jones, Philly.com, "'This is America' makes us uncomfortable, in a good way | Solomon Jones," 8 May 2018 Reynolds and his sister Cyril (a superb Lesley Manville), who runs the business side of the House of Woodcock, dispose of a pretty woman early on for the crime of wanting his attention (and disrupting breakfast by offering him an unwanted pastry). Lindsey Bahr, kansascity, "Day-Lewis fashions a compelling portrait of a genius in ‘Phantom Thread’," 18 Jan. 2018 When finished, dispose of fireworks by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can away from buildings until the following day. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "How to Stay Safe While Setting Off Fireworks This July 4th," 4 July 2018 The store will retire the old flags and dispose of them in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 29 June 2018 Den-Man also had to remove the material from the site under the supervision of a DBA field supervisor and dispose of the material in a landfill. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Text messages reveal illegal dumping by Detroit demo contractor," 26 June 2018 Cool the coals completely after grilling — and dispose of them in a metal container. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Grilling safety tips to remember," 21 May 2018

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


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


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dispose


Middle English, from Anglo-French desposer, from Latin disponere to arrange (perfect indicative disposui), from dis- + ponere to put — more at position


see dispose entry 1

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Phrases Related to dispose

so disposed

Statistics for dispose

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dispose

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

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More Definitions for dispose



English Language Learners Definition of dispose

: to cause (someone) to be likely to do or have something

: to put (someone or something) in a particular position or place


dis·pose | \dis-ˈpōz \
disposed; disposing

Kids Definition of dispose

: to put in place : arrange Campsites were disposed around the lake.

dispose of

1 : to finish with The matter was quickly disposed of.

2 : to get rid of Please dispose of trash properly.

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