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 People of color are incarcerated at higher rates than white people and tend to get longer sentences, and people who are incarcerated have higher rates of underlying health conditions that predispose them to severe COVID-19. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Pandemic inspires new push to shrink jails and prisons," 17 Sep. 2020 Ideally, such athletes should undergo cardiac imaging, plus a blood test for troponin -- which may indicate heart-muscle damage -- to rule out ongoing myocardial damage that would predispose the heart to additional strain, Jennings said. Jason Gale, Bloomberg.com, "Heart Injury After Covid Spurs Call to Screen College Athletes," 8 Sep. 2020 This may be because some groups have genetic factors that predispose them to the illness. Ritu Banerjee, The Conversation, "What we know about MIS-C, a rare but dangerous illness striking children weeks after they get COVID-19," 9 Sep. 2020 Geneticists are identifying variations in certain genes that predispose a person to stutter, but the genes themselves are puzzling: Only recently have their links to brain anatomy become apparent. Amber Dance Knowable Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Neuroscientists Are Discovering About Stuttering," 4 Sep. 2020 To protect older teachers and professors or those with conditions that predispose them to high risk, schools and universities need to be flexible. Martin Kulldorff, WSJ, "The Case Against Covid Tests for the Young and Healthy," 3 Sep. 2020 It’s known to predispose people to the worst effects of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. National Geographic, "The deadly history of ammonium nitrate, the explosive linked to the Beirut blast," 6 Aug. 2020 Black people have higher rates of chronic illnesses that predispose them to fatal cases of COVID‑19. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "How the Pandemic Defeated America," 3 Aug. 2020 Carlos adds that researchers can’t yet say whether inhaling the Saharan dust might predispose people to contracting Covid-19, or make the illness worse. Matt Simon, Wired, "Why Massive Saharan Dust Plumes Are Blowing Into the US," 25 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for predispose

Time Traveler

The first known use of predispose was in 1646

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Predispose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/predispose. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for predispose

predispose

verb
How to pronounce predispose (audio)

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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