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dis·​pose di-ˈspōz How to pronounce dispose (audio)
disposed; disposing

transitive verb

: to give a tendency to : incline
faulty diet disposes one to sickness
: to put in place : set in readiness : arrange
disposing troops for withdrawal
: bestow
obsolete : regulate

intransitive verb

: to settle a matter finally
obsolete : to come to terms
disposer noun


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obsolete : disposal
dispose of
: to get rid of
how to dispose of toxic waste
: to deal with conclusively
disposed of the matter efficiently
: to transfer to the control of another
disposing of personal property to a total stranger
: to place, distribute, or arrange especially in an orderly way
disposing of the weapons in the new fort
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

Verb 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
The car rental industry is subject to the ups and downs of the second-hand car market since these agencies dispose of cars after a certain amount of mileage. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 27 Nov. 2023 Since Otis ravaged Acapulco — killing at least 50 people and leaving 30 missing — health brigades made up of federal workers have cleaned and disinfected a little more than one-third of the city’s 507 neighborhoods, disposing of hundreds of pounds of rotting food, Mexican officials said. Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, New York Times, 25 Nov. 2023 More than 2 billion tons of ash have been disposed in the United States in landfills. Erik Kobayashi-Solomon, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The spaceplane's return cargo capacity is about 4,000 pounds (1,850 kilograms), and the expendable Shooting Star cargo module, which will be jettisoned at the end of the mission to burn up in the atmosphere, can dispose of several tons of trash from the space station. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2023 Always dispose of used tests safely and never share or reuse a test. Allison Duncan, Health, 31 Oct. 2023 Authorities allege that Samuel hired day laborers on Nov. 7 to dispose of four large trash bags. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2023 Holcim had reduced much of its fossil fuel use there, and had created an additional revenue stream by using waste fuel instead—burning material that Holcim had been paid to dispose of. Peter Vanham, Fortune Europe, 8 Nov. 2023 The breakup with Ye left the company, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, with 1.2 billion euros worth of unsold Yeezys and searching for a responsible way to dispose of them. David McHugh, Fortune, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dispose.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use


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


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near dispose

Cite this Entry

“Dispose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispose. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


disposed; disposing
: incline entry 1 sense 2
I was not disposed to go to the meeting
: to put in place or in readiness : arrange
you'll need more room to dispose your legs comfortably
disposer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dispose

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