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[dis-puh-zish-uh n] /ˌdɪs pəˈzɪʃ ən/
the predominant or prevailing tendency of one's spirits; natural mental and emotional outlook or mood; characteristic attitude:
a girl with a pleasant disposition.
state of mind regarding something; inclination:
a disposition to gamble.
physical inclination or tendency:
the disposition of ice to melt when heated.
arrangement or placing, as of troops or buildings.
final settlement of a matter.
bestowal, as by gift or sale.
power to make decisions about or dispose of a thing; control:
funds at one's disposition.
regulation; management; dispensation:
the disposition of God.
Origin of disposition
1325-75; Middle English disposicioun (< Anglo-French) < Latin dispositiōn- (stem of dispositiō), equivalent to disposit(us) (past participle of dispōnere to distribute; dispos- (see dispose) + -itus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
dispositional, adjective
redisposition, noun
1. nature, character, humor. Disposition, temper, temperament refer to the aspects and habits of mind and emotion that one displays over a length of time. Disposition is the natural or prevailing aspect of one's mind as shown in behavior and in relationships with others: a happy disposition; a selfish disposition. Temper sometimes denotes the essential quality of one's nature: a glacial temper; usually it has to do with propensity toward anger: an even temper; a quick or hot temper. Temperament refers to the particular balance of emotions determining a person's character: an artistic temperament. 2. bent, tendency, predisposition, proclivity. 4. order, grouping, location, placement. 5. outcome, result. 7. control, direction.
2. unwillingness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for disposition
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It must be quickly, for I know not what the Queen's disposition of me may be.

    Sir Mortimer Mary Johnston
  • He had evinced not the least sign of any disposition even to criticise.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Now, as then, she felt no disposition to weep or lament; the fountains of her heart were frozen, and she was numb with pain.

    A Question of Marriage Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • Knowing what human nature is, we cannot wonder at this disposition, culpable as it was.

  • I suppose I have a sort of Mark Tapley disposition, and get jolly under difficulties.

    Condemned as a Nihilist George Alfred Henty
  • Joseph afterward was an illustrious specimen of this disposition.

  • Mr. Vholes's office, in disposition retiring and in situation retired, is squeezed up in a corner and blinks at a dead wall.

    Bleak House Charles Dickens
  • I have no disposition to stand between these men and justice.

British Dictionary definitions for disposition


a person's usual temperament or frame of mind
a natural or acquired tendency, inclination, or habit in a person or thing
another word for disposal (sense 2), disposal (sense 3), disposal (sense 4), disposal (sense 5)
(philosophy, logic) a property that consists not in the present state of an object, but in its propensity to change in a certain way under certain conditions, as brittleness which consists in the propensity to break when struck Compare occurrent
(archaic) manner of placing or arranging
Derived Forms
dispositional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disposition

late 14c., "ordering, management," also "tendency of mind," from Old French disposicion (12c.) "arrangement, order; mood, state of mind," from Latin dispositionem (nominative dispositio) "arrangement, management," noun of action from past participle stem of disponere "to put in order, arrange" (see dispose). References to "temperament" (late 14c. in English) are from astrological use of the word for "position of a planet as a determining influence."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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