v. dis·posed, dis·pos·ing, dis·pos·es
1. To put into a willing or receptive frame of mind; incline: "If we're going to preach the politics of virtue, then we need to promote the social conditions that dispose people to be virtuous" (Lillian B. Rubin).
2. To place or set in a particular order; arrange: "Sally ... was beginning to loosen the upper sheet and dispose the pillows" (Harriet Beecher Stowe).
To determine the course of events: Man proposes, God disposes.
1. To finish dealing with something; settle: Let's dispose of the matter and turn to something else.
2. To give or transfer to someone else, especially permanently: She disposed of her estate among her heirs. He disposed of his memoirs to a research library.
3. To get rid of; throw out: He disposed of the newspapers after reading them.
4. To kill or destroy.
[Middle English disposen, to arrange, from Old French disposer, alteration (influenced by poser, to put, place) of Latin dispōnere, to arrange : dis-, apart; see DIS- + pōnere, to put; see apo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.