dis·​pose | \ di-ˈspōz How to pronounce dispose (audio) \
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 : bestow
c obsolete : regulate

intransitive verb

1 : to settle a matter finally
2 obsolete : to come to terms
dispose of
1a(1) : to get rid of how to dispose of toxic waste
(2) : to deal with conclusively disposed of the matter efficiently
b : to transfer to the control of another disposing of personal property to a total stranger
2 : to place, distribute, or arrange especially in an orderly way disposing of the weapons in the new fort



Definition of dispose (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : disposal

2 obsolete

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

My concern is that water utilities across the country are being overwhelmed and at the breaking point because of waste inappropriately disposed through a city’s water system. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: Extra food given to grieving families shouldn’t be wasted," 8 Sep. 2019 Nearly half of those who shop online in India prefer disposing off such material instead of meticulously storing them for future use, according to a recent survey by online citizen engagement platform LocalCircles. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "India’s online shoppers are all for recycling—if there’s a cashback involved," 3 Sep. 2019 The city crews disposed of 3,999 needles and sharp objects and 11,022 pounds of human waste. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The city has a growing mountain of possessions confiscated from homeless people," 31 July 2019 Alison never resorted to pouring the liquid from the sharps bucket, where syringes are disposed, but she’s heard of others who have (despite the risk that the mixture of unknown substances at the bottom of the bucket could be a lethal combination). Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "I Was One Of The Top Doctors In My Field. I Was Also An Opioid Addict.," 25 Feb. 2019 Don’t Leave Fats or Grease Out for Bears Spread your leftover bacon grease or meat fat onto toast and eat it asap, or dispose any napkins with grease smells into bear-safe trash cans. Dakota Kim, Sunset, "Wild Ain’t Dirty: 14 Tips for a Clean Campsite," 22 Jan. 2018 Several of the graves had been the basements of houses and outbuildings; after the buildings burned down in the fire, the survivors or the conquerors found the exposed basements convenient places to dispose of the dead. Wired, "Mass Graves in Russia Tell the Grim Story of Mongol Invasion," 13 Sep. 2019 The only other option is to dispose of the material in a landfill. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Could Alabama stop the next poop train?," 11 Sep. 2019 Sanders works for a company that helps people safely dispose of unused medications. Chase Hunter, azcentral, "Tempe high schools turn opioids into goo with help of drug disposal company," 10 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Recycle cups if possible, and dispose of the straws in the trash. Svenja Lohner, Scientific American, "Build a Blood-Flow Model," 15 Aug. 2019 After several weeks of negotiation, NordicTrack agreed — but made her dispose of the machine herself. Christopher Elliott, King Features Syndicate, The Mercury News, "Problem Solved: Help! My NordicTrack keeps freezing up and no one can fix it," 25 Aug. 2019 To counter the spread of the Toxoplasma parasite, humans can keep their cats indoors, properly dispose of waste, and prevent their pets from killing potentially infected birds and rodents. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Parasite Spread by House Cats Is Killing California’s Sea Otters," 30 Aug. 2019 After several weeks of negotiation, NordicTrack agreed — but made her dispose of the machine herself. Christopher Elliott, King Features Syndicate, The Mercury News, "Problem Solved: Help! My NordicTrack keeps freezing up and no one can fix it," 25 Aug. 2019 After several weeks of negotiation, NordicTrack agreed — but made her dispose of the machine herself. Christopher Elliott, courant.com, "Problem Solved: Her NordicTrack keeps freezing up," 23 Aug. 2019 The uprising tied to the Arab Spring of 2011 that opposed Yemen’s authoritarian government was aimed at ushering in a more inclusive state and dispose of problems such as corruption and food shortages. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "As top allies scale back in Yemen, Saudi Arabia faces prospect of an unwinnable war," 11 Aug. 2019 In August, the state environmental agency ordered 1411 Division Street to hire a licensed contractor to remove demolition debris by the end of that month and properly dispose of waste. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "State sues owner of historic West Baltimore asylum, alleging illegal demolition spread asbestos into air," 2 July 2019 The $9 million project, which broke ground in May, will help better dispose of wastewater, using storage ponds and alfalfa to make the town’s water supply safer and more green. Natalie Hanson, The Mercury News, "Small-town serenity sets Biggs apart in Northern California ‘housing catastrophe’," 29 July 2019

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

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

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Statistics for dispose

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce dispose (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on dispose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dispose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dispose

Spanish Central: Translation of dispose

Nglish: Translation of dispose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dispose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dispose

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fear of the number 13

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