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[dih-spen-suh-ree] /dɪˈspɛn sə ri/
noun, plural dispensaries.
a place where something is dispensed, especially medicines.
a charitable or public facility where medicines are furnished and free or inexpensive medical advice is available.
Origin of dispensary
1690-1700; < Medieval Latin dispēnsāria storeroom, equivalent to Latin dispēns(āre) to dispense + -āria -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dispensary
  • Patients leave the dispensary with bags, rather than bottles, full of pills.
  • He founded a hospital and dispensary for the treatment of hopeless spine and hip diseases.
  • He prescribes a medicine which must be gotten at a dispensary some distance away.
  • Members of the dispensary were either registered patients or registered primary caregivers.
  • The location of the dispensary and the cultivation site needs to be in compliance with local zoning restrictions.
  • She anticipates it will take between two and three months for a dispensary to be open to patients.
British Dictionary definitions for dispensary


/dɪˈspɛnsərɪ; -srɪ/
noun (pl) -ries
a place where medicine and medical supplies are dispensed
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 dispensary

"place for weighing out medicines," 1690s, from Medieval Latin dispensarius "one who dispenses," from Latin dispensare (see dispense).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dispensary in Medicine

dispensary dis·pen·sa·ry (dĭ-spěn'sə-rē)

  1. An office in a hospital or other institution from which medical supplies and medicines are dispensed.

  2. A public institution that dispenses medicines or medical aid.

  3. An outpatient department of a hospital.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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