disposition

noun
dis·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌdi-spə-ˈzi-shən \

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

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Other Words from disposition

dispositional \ -​ˈzish-​nəl , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for disposition

Synonyms

grain, nature, temper, temperament

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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

What is the difference between disposition and predisposition?

What exactly is someone's disposition? And is it different from a predisposition? A person's disposition is his or her usual mood or attitude. Are you typically pretty happy? You could be described as having a happy—or cheerful, or sunny—disposition. Animals have dispositions too; a dog with a nervous disposition doesn't easily relax into a restful pup curled up at someone’s feet. In this use, disposition is a synonym of temperament; both words refer to the complex set of attitudes and inclinations that guide behavior.

Disposition can also mean "tendency" or "inclination," and in such cases it has a surprising synonym: predisposition. A disposition to exaggerate is the same as a predisposition to exaggerate. A disposition toward humility is likewise the same thing as a predisposition toward humility. The fact of being "in advance" that the prefix pre- implies hardly matters when tendency and inclination are concerned, since both concern what is likely to happen in the future.

While phrases like "a disposition to cooperate" are about as common as "a predisposition to cooperate," when the context is medical, predisposition is far more common. Phrases like "a genetic predisposition to nearsightedness" appear much more frequently in published, edited text than similar phrases employing disposition.

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

Elaine will always be fondly remembered for her bright smile and sunny disposition. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Elaine J. Bliven," 7 July 2018 Hill and Nance were undercut by injury, Hood by disposition, and Clarkson by a lack of situational awareness. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Months Before LeBron's Free Agency, the Cavaliers Braced for the Worst," 29 June 2018 But don't let her sunny disposition and sweet smile fool you. Sydney Bucksbaum, Teen Vogue, "Meet the "Legacies" Cast and the Characters They Play in the Latest Supernatural Drama from "The Vampire Diaries" Universe," 24 Oct. 2018 Then again, United clearly could use a sunnier disposition: the airline ranked sixth out of eight major carriers for customer complaints in the 2017 Wall Street Journal airline scorecard. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Surf’s Up, Wheels Up at United Airlines," 5 Oct. 2018 Many people don’t realize that bodies can be viewed before burial or any other disposition, and that a body does not need to me embalmed in order to be viewed. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "6 Things You Should Do Now to Prepare for Your Own Funeral," 30 Aug. 2018 Noah Centineo is one of those people who seems to have a permanently sunny disposition. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "Noah Centineo on How to Get Over a Breakup," 1 Oct. 2018 Adopting a pro-change disposition, meanwhile, allows for a reframing of the critical issue of Trump and race. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Obama just gave the speech the left’s wanted since he left office," 7 Sep. 2018 Location: Palm Springs, California Price: $659,000 Lovers of midcentury style with a sunny disposition, this one’s for you. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cheery midcentury modern in Palm Springs wants $659K," 10 Oct. 2018

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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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disposition

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

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More Definitions for disposition

disposition

noun

Financial Definition of disposition

What It Is

Disposition refers to disposing of an asset through sale, assignment, or other transfer method.

How It Works

When an investor sells stock or bonds in a particular company, the sale is referred to as a disposition of the stock or bonds.  Insider trades are reported by a company as the disposition of shares to board members and executives. When a bank reviews its loans and decides to sell the collateral that has been taken in a foreclosure, it is referred to as a disposition of the loan assets.

Why It Matters

Disposition indicates a transfer of ownership of the asset. The asset is sold or relinquished. Disposition can also describe an asset held as collateral on a loan.

Source: Investing Answers

disposition

noun

English Language Learners Definition of disposition

: the usual attitude or mood of a person or animal

: a tendency to act or think in a particular way

: a tendency to develop a disease, condition, etc.

disposition

noun
dis·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌdis-pə-ˈzi-shən \

Kids Definition of disposition

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

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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

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Comments on disposition

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