disposition

noun
dis·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌdi-spə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce disposition (audio) \

Essential Meaning of disposition

1 : the usual attitude or mood of a person or animal He always had a cheerful/nervous disposition. [=temperament, personality] It's nice to work with someone who has such a sunny disposition. [=who is usually cheerful] a dog with an excellent disposition
2 formal : a tendency to act or think in a particular way Her disposition was to always think negatively. He has a disposition toward criminal behavior.
3 : a tendency to develop a disease, condition, etc. people with a genetic disposition toward a particular disease

Full Definition of disposition

1a : prevailing tendency, mood, or inclination
b : temperamental makeup
c : the tendency of something to act in a certain manner under given circumstances
2 : the act or the power of disposing or the state of being disposed: such as
b : final arrangement : settlement the disposition of the case
c(1) : transfer to the care or possession of another
(2) : the power of such transferal
d : orderly arrangement

Other Words from disposition

dispositional \ ˌdi-​spə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce disposition (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for disposition

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for disposition

disposition, temperament, temper, character, personality mean the dominant quality or qualities distinguishing a person or group. disposition implies customary moods and attitude toward the life around one. a cheerful disposition temperament implies a pattern of innate characteristics associated with one's specific physical and nervous organization. an artistic temperament temper implies the qualities acquired through experience that determine how a person or group meets difficulties or handles situations. a resilient temper character applies to the aggregate of moral qualities by which a person is judged apart from intelligence, competence, or special talents. strength of character personality applies to an aggregate of qualities that distinguish one as a person. a somber personality

Frequently Asked Questions About disposition

What is the difference between disposition and predisposition?

Sometimes disposition and predisposition mean the same thing, and sometimes they do not. When refering to a person's usual mood or attitude you would speak of their disposition, not their predisposition. However, when referring to a person's tendency, or inclination, the two words are largely synonymous (one might have either a predisposition or a disposition towards being generous). An exception to this synonym comes in medical use, where it is far more common to use predisposition (as in "a predisposition to nearsightedness").

What does disposition mean in court?

In legal use the word disposition may have several possible meanings. It may refer to the sentence given to a convicted juvenile defendant, or to the final determination of a matter (such as a case or motion) by a court. It may also be defined as "transfer to the care, possession, or ownership of another" as well as "the power of such transferal."

What does disposition mean in business?

In business, disposition may refer either to "the transfer of property from one to another by any of various means including gift, barter, sale, or will" or to “the plan for or method by which such a transfer is executed.”

Examples of disposition in a Sentence

They move jerkily, like puppets, but have a happy disposition; they are perpetually smiling and are given to frequent paroxysms of laughter. — Matt Ridley, Genome, 1999 … the eight species of wild equids (horses and their relatives) vary greatly in disposition, even though all eight are genetically so close to each other that they will interbreed and produce healthy (though usually sterile) offspring. — Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 1997 His father, Increase [Mather], with all his faults—his sour, depressive disposition, his open preference for England—is much more attractive. — Monroe K. Spears, American Ambitions, 1987 Her easy disposition and sociability masked the intensity of her feelings. — John Edgar Wideman, Bothers and Keepers, 1984 a dog with an excellent disposition Her disposition was to always think negatively. He has a disposition toward criminal behavior. people with a genetic disposition toward a particular disease A will is a legal document that is used in the disposition of property.
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Recent Examples on the Web Dwane Casey criticized the Pistons' disposition after that game, and thought their sloppy defense helped the Hornets get off to a strong start. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, 7 Jan. 2022 In two new official stills from the fifth season of The Crown, Debicki can be seen lying on a sofa with a subtle smirk on her face, while West is clad in a signature Prince Charles–esque brown suit and a concerned disposition. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, 4 Jan. 2022 Leda’s imperious, sour disposition matches Colman’s actorly specialty. Armond White, National Review, 17 Dec. 2021 An already picky eater, those mere seconds of arduous chomping gave me nothing in return and only crystallized my sensitive disposition. Justine Lee, Bon Appétit, 15 Dec. 2021 The meetings have taken on a heavy tone in recent days, a mood that contrasts with Smith’s normally sunny disposition. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Dec. 2021 Because in order to spot areas for improvement, the candidate needs to understand how cases move through the system, from arrest, to trial, to disposition and each potential diversion in between, Coury explained. Kaitlin Durbin, cleveland, 3 Dec. 2021 Insofar as the conservative disposition cherishes the permanent things, conservative activism presents a problem. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, 3 Dec. 2021 In the end, Malheiros’ charisma and disposition to take direction landed him the part. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for disposition

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin disposition-, dispositio, from disponere — see dispose entry 1

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Time Traveler for disposition

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near disposition

dispositio

disposition

dispositioned

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Statistics for disposition

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disposition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disposition. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for disposition

disposition

noun
dis·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌdis-pə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce disposition (audio) \

Kids Definition of disposition

1 : a person's usual attitude or mood His disposition had been … sour lately.— Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
2 : tendency sense 1, liking She has a disposition to complain.

disposition

noun
dis·​po·​si·​tion

Legal Definition of disposition

1a : the final determination of a matter (as a case or motion) by a court or quasi-judicial tribunal the beneficiary of such a disposition of charges against himUnited States v. Smith, 354 A.2d 510 (1976) — compare decision, holding, judgment, opinion, ruling, verdict
b : the sentence given to a convicted criminal defendant probation is often a desirable disposition— W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel also : the sentence given to or treatment prescribed for a juvenile offender
2 : transfer to the care, possession, or ownership of another to either a surviving spouse or a charity, those dispositions are totally exonerated from the payment of taxesMatter of McKinney, 477 N.Y.S.2d 367 (1984) also : the power of such transferral
3 : the state or condition of being predisposed : predisposition

More from Merriam-Webster on disposition

Nglish: Translation of disposition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disposition for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about disposition

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