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

Other Words from predispose

predisposition \ ˌprē-​ˌdi-​spə-​ˈzi-​shən How to pronounce predispose (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 Unknown factors appear to predispose some individuals and not others to develop calcium deposits as a result of strenuous habitual exercise. Matt Fitzgerald, Outside Online, 15 Feb. 2021 This has been proven wrong, and could lead to a false sense of security that might predispose you to hyponatremia. Amby Burfoot, Outside Online, 15 Apr. 2021 Some of the medications used to treat psoriasis can also predispose a person to a more severe course of COVID-19. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 6 Dec. 2021 Neglecting foot exercises that work these important running muscles may predispose you to injury and reduce your running economy. Jon-erik Kawamoto, Outside Online, 22 Sep. 2020 The booster is particularly important if your teen has underlying medical conditions like asthma or obesity that predispose to more severe illness. Katia Hetter, CNN, 4 Jan. 2022 Some scientists think specific factors could predispose people to long-term symptoms. New York Times, 3 Dec. 2021 Many conditions predispose a person to developing osteoporosis, but older age and being female by themselves are significant risk factors, enough to warrant screening. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 17 Dec. 2021 Since the 1990s, some scientists have argued for the fetal origins of adult disease; that the intrauterine environment, especially during times of bodily stress, may predispose a developing fetus to worse health outcomes later in life. Megan Molteni, STAT, 5 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of predispose

1646, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of predispose was in 1646

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Dictionary Entries Near predispose

prediscovery

predispose

predissociation

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Cite this Entry

“Predispose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predispose. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for predispose

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 predispose (audio) \ noun

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