Definition of disposition
- the disposition of the case
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.
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.
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.
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.
: 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.
See words that rhyme with disposition Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disposition Spanish Central: Translation of 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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