9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-spach] /dɪˈspætʃ/
verb (used with object)
to send off or away with speed, as a messenger, telegram, body of troops, etc.
to dismiss (a person), as after an audience.
to put to death; kill:
The spy was promptly dispatched.
to transact or dispose of (a matter) promptly or speedily.
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to hasten; be quick.
the sending off of a messenger, letter, etc., to a destination.
the act of putting to death; killing; execution.
prompt or speedy transaction, as of business.
expeditious performance; promptness or speed:
Proceed with all possible dispatch.
  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.
a written message sent with speed.
an official communication sent by special messenger.
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.
mentioned in dispatches, British. honored by being named in official military reports for special bravery or acts of service.
Also, despatch.
Origin of dispatch
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
9. rapidity, haste, alacrity, celerity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dispatch
  • You can also create buddy lists to let friends and relatives dispatch images to your frame.
  • I'll give you an update of their work in the next dispatch.
  • And authors can dispatch revisions and addenda in a secure and profitable way.
  • Business dispatched is business well done, but business hurried is business ill done.
  • Only eight days later, Jason commented that a medical situation arose in his classroom requiring campus dispatch.
  • This final dispatch is an excerpt from his speech.
  • Another option is to dispatch committee members or colleagues, armed with recruitment materials, to disciplinary conferences.
  • The pigs--nobody's fools--not only dispatch the costumed wolf but devise a scheme to discourage him once and for all.
  • Thomas is a fine writer who spells out the bare facts of her life with dispatch.
  • One thing that's good about industry is that they can dispatch you with ruthless efficiency.
British Dictionary definitions for dispatch


verb (transitive)
to send off promptly, as to a destination or to perform a task
to discharge or complete (a task, duty, etc) promptly
(informal) to eat up quickly
to murder or execute
the act of sending off a letter, messenger, etc
prompt action or speed (often in the phrase with dispatch)
an official communication or report, sent in haste
(journalism) a report sent to a newspaper, etc, by a correspondent
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 dispatch

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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