predispose

verb
pre·dis·pose | \ˌprē-di-ˈspōz \
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 \ 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

The third is that genetic factors predispose certain patients to the condition. Caitlin Granfield, miamiherald, "You've survived cancer, but your brain is fuzzy after the chemo. Here's what to do.," 29 May 2018 While a genetic mutation plays a role in predisposing someone to the disease, just 1% of children born with this mutation go on to develop the disease, according to the paper. Meera Senthilingam And Jessie Yeung, CNN, "A germ-free childhood could trigger leukemia, scientist suggests," 22 May 2018 Chronic social stress can also shift the body’s physiology, predisposing people to disease. Clay Marsh, STAT, "Facing deaths of despair from the depths of despair in West Virginia," 12 July 2018 Anything that impairs the motion of the cilia can predispose the lungs to respiratory infections. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "Cinnamon May Be Safe in Foods, but Is It Safe in E-Cigarettes?," 1 June 2018 Each of these identities predisposed her to have a negative opinion of people who did not belong to the same group. Yascha Mounk, The New Yorker, "The Rise of McPolitics," 12 Jan. 2015 Too much vitamin B6 has been associated with nerve damage, and even modestly additional amounts of vitamin C or vitamin D in some people can predispose to the formation of kidney stones. Ronald S. Litman, Philly.com, "New study on supplemental vitamins proves they're useless and a waste of money," 5 June 2018 People with celiac disease are genetically predisposed to launch a self-destructive immune response when a component of gluten called gliadin penetrates their intestinal lining and sets off inflammatory cells in the tissue below. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?," 23 May 2018 But are op-eds only preaching to the choir — convincing partisans already predisposed to agreeing with them? Alexander Coppock, Washington Post, "This column will probably change your mind," 12 May 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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Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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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

: 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 \
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 \
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 \ noun

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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