Someone dispensing lotion into their hand.
- An example of dispense is when a person hands out fliers about a new store.
- An example of dispense is when you put aside your anger to make a deal.
- An example of dispense is when a prosecutor gives immunity to a witness.
transitive verb-·pensed′, -·pens′ing
- to give or deal out; distribute
- to prepare and give out (medicines, prescriptions, etc.)
- to administer: to dispense the law justly
- to exempt; excuse
Origin of dispenseMiddle English dispensen from Old French despenser from Classical Latin dispensare, to pay out from past participle of dispendere, to weigh out from dis-, out + pendere, to weigh: see pendant
- to get rid of; do away with
- to do without; manage without
verbdis·pensed, dis·pens·ing, dis·pens·es
- a. To give or deal out, especially in parts or portions: a machine that dispenses candy; a neighbor who freely dispenses advice. See Synonyms at distribute.b. To prepare and give out (medicines).
- To administer (laws, for example).
- To exempt or release, as from a duty or religious obligation.
Origin of dispenseMiddle English dispensen from Old French dispenser from Latin dispēnsāre to distribute frequentative of dispendere to weigh out dis- out ; see dis- . pendere to weigh ; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present dispenses, present participle dispensing, simple past and past participle dispensed)
- To issue, distribute, or put out.
- To apply, as laws to particular cases; to administer; to execute; to manage; to direct.
- to dispense justice
- To supply or make up a medicine or prescription.
- The pharmacist dispensed my tablets.
- An optician can dispense spectacles.
- To eliminate or do without; used intransitively with with.
- I wish he would dispense with the pleasantries and get to the point.
- It was resolved that all members of the House who held commissions, should be dispensed from parliamentary attendance.
- He appeared to think himself born to be supported by others, and dispensed from all necessity of providing for himself.
- His sin was dispensed / With gold, whereof it was compensed.
From Old French dispenser, from Latin dispensare (“to weight out, pay out, distribute, regulate, manage, control, dispense”), frequentative of dispendere (“to weight out”), from dis- (“apart”) + pendere (“to weigh”).