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dispense

[dih-spens] /dɪˈspɛns/
verb (used with object), dispensed, dispensing.
1.
to deal out; distribute:
to dispense wisdom.
2.
to administer:
to dispense the law without bias.
3.
Pharmacology. to make up and distribute (medicine), especially on prescription.
4.
Roman Catholic Church. to grant dispensation.
verb (used without object), dispensed, dispensing.
5.
to grant dispensation.
noun
6.
Obsolete, expenditure.
Verb phrases
7.
dispense with,
  1. to do without; forgo:
    to dispense with preliminaries.
  2. to do away with; rid of.
  3. to grant exemption from a law or promise.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English dispensen < Medieval Latin dispēnsāre to pardon, exempt, Latin: to pay out, distribute, equivalent to dis- dis-1 + pēnsāre, frequentative of pendere to weigh
Related forms
undispensed, adjective
Synonyms
1. apportion, allot, dole. See distribute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dispense
  • He distributes a clinic-in-a-box, a portable supply of medicine that people in isolated villages are trained to dispense.
  • It floors me that a government can so easily dispense with a human life.
  • Federal prosecutors now allege that many city departments rigged the hiring process to dispense jobs as political favours.
  • Electric cars will require filling stations that dispense electrons rather than gasoline.
  • And many companies are working on ways to produce, store and dispense hydrogen.
  • There's even a tap and pressure system to dispense the beer and keep it fizzy down to the last drop.
  • Penalties against a pharmacy can range from a fine to revocation of its license to dispense drugs.
  • Tax cuts are not some costly luxury you can dispense with.
  • The scientific method will naturally dispense with theories whose predictions do not pan out.
  • In the future, these biological computers could be sent into the bloodstream to dispense drugs or fight bacteria.
British Dictionary definitions for dispense

dispense

/dɪˈspɛns/
verb
1.
(transitive) to give out or issue in portions
2.
(transitive) to prepare and distribute (medicine), esp on prescription
3.
(transitive) to administer (the law, etc)
4.
(intransitive) foll by with. to do away (with) or manage (without)
5.
to grant a dispensation to (someone) from (some obligation of church law)
6.
to exempt or excuse from a rule or obligation
Usage note
Dispense with is sometimes wrongly used where dispose of is meant: this task can be disposed of (not dispensed with) quickly and easily
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin dispensāre to pardon, from Latin dispendere to weigh out, from dis-1 + pendere to weigh
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 dispense
v.

early 14c., from Old French dispenser "give out" (13c.), from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)," frequentative of dispendere "pay out," from dis- "out" (see dis-) + pendere "to pay, weigh" (see pendant).

In Medieval Latin, dispendere was used in the ecclesiastical sense of "grant license to do what is forbidden or omit what is required" (a power of popes, bishops, etc.), and thus acquired a sense of "grant remission from punishment or exemption from law," hence "to do away with" (1570s), "do without" (c.1600). Older sense is preserved in dispensary. Related: Dispensed; dispensing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dispense in Medicine

dispense dis·pense (dĭ-spěns')
v. dis·pensed, dis·pens·ing, dis·pens·es
To prepare and give out medicines.

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