Definition of predispose
1 : to dispose in advance a good teacher predisposes children to learn
2 : to make susceptible malnutrition predisposes one to disease
: to bring about susceptibility
predispositionplay \ˌprē-ˌdis-pə-ˈzi-shən\ noun
Examples of predispose in a Sentence
Past experiences have predisposed her to distrust people.
Recent Examples of predispose from the Web
Sugar is also bad for your teeth and can aggravate health problems (such as some kinds of asthma and arthritis), raise the level of blood fats, and predispose women to yeast infections.
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.
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.
First Known Use of predispose
Synonym Discussion of predispose
PREDISPOSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of predispose for English Language Learners
: to cause (someone) to be more likely to behave in a particular way or to be affected by a particular condition
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
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
predisposition\ˌprē-ˌdis-pə-ˈzi-shən\ play noun
Additional Notes on predispose
Predisposition on the part of a defendant vitiates the defense of entrapment.
Seen and Heard
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