predispose

verb
pre·​dis·​pose | \ ˌprē-di-ˈspōz How to pronounce predispose (audio) \
predisposed; predisposing; predisposes

Definition of predispose

transitive verb

1 : to dispose in advance a good teacher predisposes children to learn
2 : to make susceptible malnutrition predisposes one to disease

intransitive verb

: to bring about susceptibility

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Other Words from predispose

predisposition \ ˌprē-​ˌdi-​spə-​ˈzi-​shən How to pronounce predisposition (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for predispose

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?

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.

Did You Know?

Predispose usually means putting someone in a frame of mind to be willing to do something. So a longtime belief in the essential goodness of people, for example, will predispose us to trust a stranger. Teachers know that coming from a stable family generally predisposes children to learn. And viewing television violence for years may leave young people with a predisposition to accept real violence as normal. The medical sense of the word is similar. Thus, a person's genes may predispose her to diabetes or arthritis, and malnutrition over a long period can predispose you to all kinds of infections.

Examples of predispose in a Sentence

Past experiences have predisposed her to distrust people.

Recent Examples on the Web

Though there’s no known cause of lipomas, some people have genetic conditions that predispose them to forming dozens of lipomas, according to Dr. Garden. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "12 Common Face 'Bumps' and How to Deal With Them," 31 May 2019 Having chronic conditions that affect your immune system, like diabetes and HIV, can also predispose you to fungal acne. Sara Coughlin, SELF, "How to Know if You Have 'Fungal Acne'—and How to Treat it," 1 Apr. 2019 People with thinner gum tissue may also be predisposed to recession, Panos N. Papapanou, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of the division of periodontics at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, tells SELF. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What to Know Before, During, and After Your Gum Graft Surgery," 11 Mar. 2019 Certain factors predispose you to keloids, like being a person of color and having a family history of these scars, the AAD explains. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "9 Smart Questions to Ask Before Getting a Tattoo," 9 Nov. 2018 This predisposes them to diarrhea several hours after consuming fructose-rich foods. SELF, "Why This Registered Dietitian Tells (Some of) Her Patients to Avoid Kale Salads," 30 Nov. 2018 Researchers plan to expand the test to other genes that can predispose people to cancer. Fox News, "Lab test may identify dangerous gene mutations, study finds," 12 Sep. 2018 There are several blood vessel abnormalities that can exist from birth and predispose you to stroke, Dr. Stieg says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Montel Williams Describes His Life-Threatening Stroke: 'I Didn’t Think That I Was Going to Recover From This.'," 12 Oct. 2018 In a study published in The Lancet in 2001, 30 subjects with a rare genetic disorder predisposing them to skin cancer applied a lotion with DNA repair enzymes daily for one year. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018

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

1646, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for predispose

Last Updated

4 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for predispose

The first known use of predispose was in 1646

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More Definitions for predispose

predispose

verb

English Language Learners Definition of predispose

formal : to cause (someone) to be more likely to behave in a particular way or to be affected by a particular condition

predispose

verb
pre·​dis·​pose | \ ˌprēd-is-ˈpōz How to pronounce predispose (audio) \
predisposed; predisposing

Medical Definition of predispose

transitive verb

: to make susceptible malnutrition predisposes one to disease

intransitive verb

: to bring about susceptibility conditions that predispose to infection

predispose

transitive verb
pre·​dis·​pose | \ ˌprē-di-ˈspōz How to pronounce predispose (audio) \
predisposed; predisposing

Legal Definition of predispose

: to dispose or incline in advance specifically : to make ready and willing to commit a crime have been predisposed to engage in criminal behavior — W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel

Note: Predisposition on the part of a defendant vitiates the defense of entrapment.

Other Words from predispose

predisposition \ ˌprē-​ˌdis-​pə-​ˈzi-​shən How to pronounce predisposition (audio) \ noun

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Comments on predispose

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