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

Flammable aerosols, auto fluids, pesticides, etc. were taken and disposed of by Safety-Kleen. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Duluth declares clean-up day success," 11 July 2018 Grigsby was accused of helping three other people dispose of the body of 17-year-old Ally Steinfeld, of rural Texas County. NBC News, "Second guilty plea entered in transgender teen's gruesome death," 9 July 2018 But when a new prodigy (Bassett) began to dominate on the court and gain more time and attention from Bollettieri, the coach essentially disposed of Horvath. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Love Means Zero, A New Documentary on Legendary Tennis Coach Nick Bollettieri, Asks the Question: How Far Would You Go To Be The Best?," 22 June 2018 The new disposal units will be located inside CVS Pharmacy locations, providing sites for disposing of opioids and other medications that could be misused if they are left in medicine cabinets, the company said in announcing the plan on Wednesday. Angela Forburger, azcentral, "CVS Health expands drug-disposal program to Arizona," 22 June 2018 The key to disposing of an olive pit is to do it discreetly. Houston Chronicle, "Stepmother wants family taxi service to go out of business," 22 June 2018 Degree and Boyd are accused of disposing of the guns used in the shootings. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Avondale man found guilty in fatal double shooting," 4 May 2018 The state’s laws for disposing of unused highway right-of-way property are complicated, and often do not favor the original property owners. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Woman Dies At 93, After Living To See Return Of Her Seized Land," 25 Apr. 2018 The retailer has made progress in disposing of its overseas stores. Jaclyn Cosgrove, latimes.com, "L.A. toy mogul scraps bid for Canadian Toys R Us stores, works to sweeten U.S. deal," 22 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When finished, allow used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes, submerge in water, drain, place in a plastic bag & dispose of outside in a covered trash can. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Fourth of July: Best tips to stay safe when using fireworks," 4 July 2018 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

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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Statistics for dispose

Last Updated

3 Nov 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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Comments on dispose

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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