dis·​pos·​i·​tive | \ di-ˈspä-zə-tiv How to pronounce dispositive (audio) \

Definition of dispositive

: directed toward or effecting disposition (as of a case) dispositive evidence

Examples of dispositive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Keep in mind that the state’s presentation on this score is not dispositive. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Gripping Medical Testimony Gets Chauvin Prosecution Back on Track," 9 Apr. 2021 According to AstraZeneca, the U.S. clinical trials did not turn up any such clotting incidents—though, given their rarity, that is not necessarily dispositive. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Why There Is So Much Confusion About the AstraZeneca Vaccine," 23 Mar. 2021 The not-precedent camp points to the first clause as dispositive. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "Why Bush v. Gore Still Matters in 2020," 1 Nov. 2020 For the Sandernistas, the crisis is dispositive proof of the need for universal health care; for Trumpists, of the need to control our borders; for the Bidenites in between, of the need for nonpartisan expertise. Christopher Beha, Harper's Magazine, "Tests of Time," 25 May 2020 But the Ninth Circuit Court did not accept that evidence as dispositive. Jack Butler, National Review, "Led Zeppelin Defeats Claims of Copyright Infringement," 14 Mar. 2020 Not that the votes of Ocasio-Cortez types figure to be dispositive in an election in which the swing votes everyone is looking to harvest are the ones in the white working class in the upper Midwest. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Sorry, AOC — Democrats Don’t Want Democratic Socialism," 16 Apr. 2020 At the very least, states using such machines should pass laws requiring that the human-readable names printed on the ballot, and not a bar code readable only by machine, should be dispositive in the event of a recount. Richard L. Hasen, WSJ, "How to Prevent the Next Election Meltdown," 7 Feb. 2020 But such performances bespeak today’s music industry; where safety-in-retrospect carries dispositive weight. oregonlive, "Live music in Portland: 25 January concerts you won’t want to miss," 30 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dispositive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dispositive

circa 1618, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dispositive

Time Traveler for dispositive

Time Traveler

The first known use of dispositive was circa 1618

See more words from the same year

Statistics for dispositive

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dispositive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dispositive. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dispositive


dis·​pos·​i·​tive | \ dis-ˈpä-zə-tiv How to pronounce dispositive (audio) \

Legal Definition of dispositive

1 : directed toward or effecting a disposition (as of a case) an endless variety of dispositive…pretrial motions— Robert Shaw-Meadow
2 : relating to a disposition of property dispositive words in a will
3 : providing a final resolution (as of an issue) : having control over an outcome dispositive of the question

More from Merriam-Webster on dispositive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dispositive

Comments on dispositive

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!