What does dispense mean?

Definitions for dispense

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word dispense.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distribute, administer, mete out, deal, parcel out, lot, dispense, shell out, deal out, dish out, allot, dole outverb

    administer or bestow, as in small portions

    "administer critical remarks to everyone present"; "dole out some money"; "shell out pocket money for the children"; "deal a blow to someone"; "the machine dispenses soft drinks"

  2. dispenseverb

    grant a dispensation; grant an exemption

    "I was dispensed from this terrible task"

  3. administer, dispenseverb

    give or apply (medications)


  1. dispensenoun

    Cost, expenditure.

  2. dispensenoun

    The act of dispensing, dispensation.

  3. dispenseverb

    To issue, distribute, or put out.

  4. dispenseverb

    To supply or make up a medicine or prescription.

  5. dispenseverb

    To eliminate or do without–used intransitively with with.

    I wish he would dispense with the pleasantries and get to the point.

  6. dispenseverb

    To give a dispensation to (someone) to do something against the law.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Dispensenoun

    Dispensation; exemption.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Then reliques, beads,
    Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
    The sport of winds. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. iii.

  2. To DISPENSEverb

    Etymology: despenser, French

    Those now, that were dispens’d,
    The burden of many ages, on me light
    At once, by my foreknowledge. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    Those to whom Christ has committed the dispensing of his gospel. Decay of Piety.

    At length the muses stand restor’d again
    While you dispense the laws and guide the state. Dryden.

    To them but earth-born life they did dispense,
    To us, for mutual aid, celestial sense. Nahum Tate, Juvenal.

    To save a brother’s life,
    Nature dispenses with the deed. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    How few kingdoms are there, wherein, by dispensing with oaths, absolving subjects from allegiance, and cursing, or threatning to curse, as long as their curses were regarded, the popes have not wrought innumerable mischiefs? Walter Raleigh, Ess.

    Rules of words may be dispensed with. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    I could not dispense with myself from making a voyage to Caprea. Joseph Addison, Remarks on Italy.

    Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
    Canst thou dispense with heav’n for such an oath? William Shakespeare, H. VI.


  1. dispense

    Dispense generally refers to the act of distributing or supplying something. It can be used in various contexts such as, dispensing medication, advice, justice, or items from a vending machine. In broader terms, it means to manage, deal, or allot in portions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dispenseverb

    to deal out in portions; to distribute; to give; as, the steward dispenses provisions according directions; Nature dispenses her bounties; to dispense medicines

  2. Dispenseverb

    to apply, as laws to particular cases; to administer; to execute; to manage; to direct

  3. Dispenseverb

    to pay for; to atone for

  4. Dispenseverb

    to exempt; to excuse; to absolve; -- with from

  5. Dispenseverb

    to compensate; to make up; to make amends

  6. Dispenseverb

    to give dispensation

  7. Dispenseverb

    dispensation; exemption

  8. Dispensenoun

    expense; profusion; outlay

  9. Etymology: [OF. despense, F. dpense.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dispense

    dis-pens′, v.t. to deal out in portions: to distribute: to administer: (Spens.) to pay for.—n. expense: profession: abundance.—adj. Dispensed′.—n. Dispens′er.—Dispense with, to permit the want of: to do without. [Fr. dispenser—L. dis, asunder, pensare, inten. of pendĕre, to weigh.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce dispense?

How to say dispense in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dispense in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dispense in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of dispense in a Sentence

  1. Eric Greitens:

    We will dispense with these false allegations.

  2. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto:

    We(Pakistan) will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own (Atom bomb).... We have no other choice!” ― Zulfikar Ali Bhutto The people have realized that Martial Law is not law. A regime not established by law is devoid of the attribute to dispense law. A regime which puts in a bunker the highest law in the land does not have the moral authority to say that nobody is above the law.” ― Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, bOOK.If I Am Assassinated

  3. Katrina Mark:

    They are only licensed to dispense to people who have medical marijuana cards, this does not mean that they are staffed by people that have any sort of medical education.

  4. Niall Mottram:

    Being able to hit a moving target is challenging. And hitting a moving target that varies in appearance is even more so. So being able to differentiate from color and shape, and then being able to calculate how quickly you're moving and therefore at what point you should dispense so that you hit your target; that requires some pretty sophisticated algorithms.

  5. Lindsey Graham:

    They've made their beds so let's dispense with the outrage.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for dispense

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • الاستغناءArabic
  • раздавам, разпределям, минавам безBulgarian
  • dosieren, abgeben, austeilen, verteilen, ausgebenGerman
  • باطل کردنPersian
  • antaa, tarjota, jättää väliin, jakaa, ohittaaFinnish
  • partager, dispenser, émettre, éliminer, distribuer, doserFrench
  • tuariMāori
  • uitgeven, afschaffen, uitdelen, verdelen, doserenDutch
  • dispensarPortuguese
  • avvara, ge ut, förskriva, utdela, förmedla, skriva ut, dosera, vara utan, utge, fördela, frikalla, dela ut, frita, utminutera, lösa, undvaraSwedish
  • bırakmak, hazırlamak, dağıtmak, tevzi etmekTurkish
  • 发放Chinese

Get even more translations for dispense »


Find a translation for the dispense definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"dispense." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/dispense>.

Discuss these dispense definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for dispense? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    weak or sickly person especially one morbidly concerned with his or her health
    A valetudinarian
    B lacerate
    C currish
    D usurious

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for dispense: