Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To place or set in a particular order; arrange.
  • transitive v. To put (business affairs, for example) into correct, definitive, or conclusive form.
  • transitive v. To put into a willing or receptive frame of mind; incline. See Synonyms at incline.
  • intransitive v. To settle or decide a matter.
  • n. Obsolete Disposal.
  • n. Obsolete Disposition; demeanor.
  • dispose of To attend to; settle: disposed of the problem quickly.
  • dispose of To transfer or part with, as by giving or selling.
  • dispose of To get rid of; throw out.
  • dispose of To kill or destroy: a despot who disposed of all his enemies, real or imagined.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To eliminate or to get rid of something.
  • v. To distribute and put in place.
  • v. To deal out; to assign to a use.
  • v. To incline

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Disposal; ordering; management; power or right of control.
  • n. Cast of mind; disposition; inclination; behavior; demeanor.
  • intransitive v. To bargain; to make terms.
  • transitive v. To distribute and put in place; to arrange; to set in order.
  • transitive v. To regulate; to adjust; to settle; to determine.
  • transitive v. To deal out; to assign to a use; to bestow for an object or purpose; to apply; to employ; to dispose of.
  • transitive v. To give a tendency or inclination to; to adapt; to cause to turn; especially, to incline the mind of; to give a bent or propension to; to incline; to make inclined; -- usually followed by to, sometimes by for before the indirect object.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set in order; place or distribute in a particular order; put; arrange: as, the ships were disposed in the form of a crescent; the trees are disposed in the form of a quincunx.
  • Specifically To regulate; adjust; set in right order.
  • To place, locate, or settle suitably: chiefly reflexive.
  • To give direction or tendency to; set, place, or turn (toward a particular end, consequence, or result, or in a particular direction); adapt.
  • To incline the mind or heart of.
  • To make over or part with, as by gift, sale, or other means of alienation; alienate or bestow: as, “he disposed all church preferments to the highest bidder,”
  • Synonyms To range, rank, group.
  • Order, regulate, fit.
  • Lead, induce.
  • To make disposition; determine the arrangement or settlement of something.
  • To bargain; make terms.
  • To exercise control over; direct the disposal or course of: as, they have full power to dispose of their possessions.
  • n. Disposal; power of disposing; management.
  • n. Dispensation; act of government; management.
  • n. Cast of behavior; demeanor.
  • n. Disposition; cast of mind; inclination.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. throw or cast away
  • v. give, sell, or transfer to another
  • v. make receptive or willing towards an action or attitude or belief
  • v. place or put in a particular order
  • v. make fit or prepared

Etymologies

Middle English disposen, from Old French disposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin dispōnere, to arrange : dis-, apart.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French disposer. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Constitution for the people of the United States to "dispose of" their public lands, and I think I may venture to assert with confidence that no case can be found in which a trustee in the position of Congress has been authorized to "_dispose of_" property by its owner where it has been held that these words authorized such trustee to give away the fund intrusted to his care.

    A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 5, part 4: James Buchanan

  • The assertors of this inverse ratio between piety and amusement must, in short, dispose as best they can, of the fact that along with the growth of Christian intelligence, Christian benevolence, and Christian activity, there has been developed in the church itself a growing sympathy with many of the very forms of amusement most condemned by the religious sentiment of an earlier age.

    Amusement: A Force in Christian Training

  • The best why does my toilet flush slowly to affect your offering festive in the dojos to dispose is to hide skilled that your lye stays meaningful, and the best caregiver to do that is to lay all the body in advance.

    Wii-volution

  • Army officials said the original request for renovation proposals instructed the contractor to "dispose" of the urns.

    Arlington cemetery urns to be returned instead of auctioned

  • The Department of the Army, whose stewardship of the cemetery has been questioned since an investigation found widespread burial problems there last year, confirmed that the contractor, Omni Construction - which later merged with Clark Construction, a venerable Bethesda firm - was to "dispose" of the urns.

    Arlington cemetery urns turn up on auction block, but how'd they get there?

  • I guess Harlow has a rather generous definition of "dispose"; or maybe he is simply disposed to facile arguments.

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • Newsletters of a trade group representing egg producers regularly note the need to find new markets to "dispose" of spent hens.

    Old-hen meat fed to pets and schoolkids

  • Wasn't it obvious from the very inception of our government's plan to treat these alleged criminals as soldiers, that the problem of how to "dispose" of them in the end could never be solved?

    Plan to close Gitmo gets less (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • IFRs can efficiently consume the waste we've already generated from existing light water reactors so they are simply a cleaner, safer, and more cost-effective solution to "dispose" of our nuclear waste than any of the alternatives that have been proposed.

    Steve Kirsch: Climate Bill Ignores Our Biggest Clean Energy Source

  • Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply.

    Johann Hari: You Are Being Lied to About Pirates

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