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despatch

[dih-spach] /dɪˈspætʃ/
verb (used with or without object), noun
1.
Related forms
outdespatch, verb (used with object)
undespatched, adjective

dispatch

or despatch

[dih-spach] /dɪˈspætʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to send off or away with speed, as a messenger, telegram, body of troops, etc.
2.
to dismiss (a person), as after an audience.
3.
to put to death; kill:
The spy was promptly dispatched.
4.
to transact or dispose of (a matter) promptly or speedily.
verb (used without object)
5.
Archaic. to hasten; be quick.
noun
6.
the sending off of a messenger, letter, etc., to a destination.
7.
the act of putting to death; killing; execution.
8.
prompt or speedy transaction, as of business.
9.
expeditious performance; promptness or speed:
Proceed with all possible dispatch.
10.
Commerce.
  1. a method of effecting a speedy delivery of goods, money, etc.
  2. a conveyance or organization for the expeditious transmission of goods, money, etc.
11.
a written message sent with speed.
12.
an official communication sent by special messenger.
13.
Journalism. a news story transmitted to a newspaper, wire service, or the like, by one of its reporters, or by a wire service to a newspaper or other news agency.
Idioms
14.
mentioned in dispatches, British. honored by being named in official military reports for special bravery or acts of service.
Origin of dispatch
1510-1520
1510-20; < Italian dispacciare to hasten, speed, or < Spanish despachar both ultimately < Old French despeechier to unshackle, equivalent to des- dis-1 + -peechier < Late Latin -pedicāre to shackle; see impeach
Related forms
outdispatch, verb (used with object)
predispatch, noun, verb (used with object)
redispatch, verb (used with object)
self-dispatch, noun
undispatched, adjective
undispatching, adjective
Synonyms
9. rapidity, haste, alacrity, celerity.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for despatch
Historical Examples
  • The despatch intrusted to my care had been borne safely to Longstreet.

    My Lady of the North Randall Parrish
  • I have received a despatch which will prevent me from leaving Jacksonville for a few days.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • Having done this, she retired, leaving the prisoner to despatch his meal alone.

    Horse-Shoe Robinson John Pendleton Kennedy
  • The despatch is a singular example of its author's mental habits.

  • Sooner even than the captain had anticipated the news came in a despatch brought from the north of England.

    In Honour's Cause George Manville Fenn
  • I shall have much pleasure in reading the despatch to you the first time we meet.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • Of all the foolish acts committed by James the despatch of this letter was, in the circumstances, the most foolish.

    Claverhouse Mowbray Morris
  • I cannot go on sending despatch after despatch, none of which reach their destination.

    Fix Bay'nets George Manville Fenn
  • Without saying more, I shall be very glad if any Congressional district will, in good faith, do as your despatch contemplates.

  • On Sunday the 16th, at nightfall, he started with 1,500 men with all secrecy and despatch.

British Dictionary definitions for despatch

despatch

/dɪˈspætʃ/
verb
1.
(transitive) a less common spelling of dispatch
Derived Forms
despatcher, noun

dispatch

/dɪˈspætʃ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to send off promptly, as to a destination or to perform a task
2.
to discharge or complete (a task, duty, etc) promptly
3.
(informal) to eat up quickly
4.
to murder or execute
noun
5.
the act of sending off a letter, messenger, etc
6.
prompt action or speed (often in the phrase with dispatch)
7.
an official communication or report, sent in haste
8.
(journalism) a report sent to a newspaper, etc, by a correspondent
9.
murder or execution
Derived Forms
dispatcher, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Italian dispacciare, from Provençal despachar, from Old French despeechier to set free, from des-dis-1 + -peechier, ultimately from Latin pedica a fetter
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 despatch

18c. variant of dispatch (q.v.), apparently the result of an error in the printing of Johnson's dictionary.

dispatch

v.

1510s, "to send off in a hurry," from a word in Spanish (despachar "expedite, hasten") or Italian (dispacciare "to dispatch"). For first element, see dis-. The exact source of the second element has been proposed as Vulgar Latin *pactare "to fasten, fix" or *pactiare, or as Latin -pedicare "to entrap" (from Latin pedica "shackle;" see impeach); and the Spanish and Italian words seem to be related to (perhaps opposites of) Old Provençal empachar "impede." See OED for full discussion. Meaning "to get rid of by killing" is attested from 1520s. Related: Dispatched; dispatching. As a noun, from 1540s, originally "dismissal;" sense of "a message sent speedily" is first attested 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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