Thesaurus

dispatch

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of dispatch

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to cause to go or be taken from one place to another
  • dispatched a messenger with urgent news

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2 to deprive of life
  • the exterminator dispatched the termites with professional efficiency

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3 to put to death deliberately
  • during his reign of terror the dictator dispatched thousands without the slightest qualm

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4 to achieve a victory over
  • they dispatched the other team without breaking a sweat

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dispatch

noun

Synonyms of dispatch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a message on paper from one person or group to another
  • a soldier sending daily dispatches to friends and family back home

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2 a piece of conveyed information
  • a dispatch from headquarters regarding a change in battle plans

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Frequently Asked Questions About dispatch

How is the word dispatch distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of dispatch are assassinate, execute, kill, murder, and slay. While all these words mean "to deprive of life," dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death.

dispatched the sentry with one bullet

When might assassinate be a better fit than dispatch?

While the synonyms assassinate and dispatch are close in meaning, assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives.

terrorists assassinated the Senator

When could execute be used to replace dispatch?

The synonyms execute and dispatch are sometimes interchangeable, but execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty.

executed by lethal gas

Where would kill be a reasonable alternative to dispatch?

In some situations, the words kill and dispatch are roughly equivalent. However, kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner.

killed in an accident

frost killed the plants

When is it sensible to use murder instead of dispatch?

The words murder and dispatch are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility.

convicted of murdering a rival

When is slay a more appropriate choice than dispatch?

The meanings of slay and dispatch largely overlap; however, slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive.

slew thousands of the Philistines

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Time Traveler for dispatch

Time Traveler

The first known use of dispatch was in 1517

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Cite this Entry

“Dispatch.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dispatch. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dispatch

Dictionary: Definition of dispatch

Nglish: Translation of dispatch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dispatch for Arabic Speakers

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