Thesaurus

dispense

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of dispense

to give out (something) to appropriate individuals
  • a conscientious pharmacist never dispenses pills to people without assurances that they understand the instructions

Synonyms for dispense

Words Related to dispense

Near Antonyms for dispense

Antonyms for dispense

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About dispense

How does the verb dispense differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of dispense are deal, distribute, divide, and dole out. While all these words mean "to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group," dispense suggests the giving of a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group according to due or need.

dispensed wisdom to the students

Where would deal be a reasonable alternative to dispense?

While the synonyms deal and dispense are close in meaning, deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece.

deal out equipment and supplies

When can distribute be used instead of dispense?

In some situations, the words distribute and dispense are roughly equivalent. However, distribute implies an apportioning by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts.

distributed food to the needy

When would divide be a good substitute for dispense?

The words divide and dispense can be used in similar contexts, but divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal.

three charitable groups divided the proceeds

When is dole out a more appropriate choice than dispense?

The words dole out and dispense are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply.

doled out what little food there was

Learn More About dispense

Time Traveler for dispense

Time Traveler

The first known use of dispense was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near dispense

dispensations

dispense

dispensed

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Dispense.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dispense. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on dispense

Nglish: Translation of dispense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dispense for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!