dispose of

verb (used with object), dis·posed, dis·pos·ing.

  1. to give a tendency or inclination to; incline: His temperament disposed him to argue readily with people.
  2. to put in a particular or the proper order or arrangement; adjust by arranging the parts.
  3. to put in a particular or suitable place: The lamp was disposed on a table nearby.
  4. to make fit or ready; prepare: Your words of cheer dispose me for the task.

verb (used without object), dis·posed, dis·pos·ing.

  1. to arrange or decide matters: to do as God disposes.
  2. Obsolete. to make terms.


  1. Archaic. disposition; habit.
  2. Obsolete. arrangement; regulation; disposal.

Verb Phrases

  1. dispose of,
    1. to deal with conclusively; settle.
    2. to get rid of; discard.
    3. to transfer or give away, as by gift or sale.
    4. to do away with; destroy.


  1. (intr foll by of)
    1. to deal with or settle
    2. to give, sell, or transfer to another
    3. to throw out or away
    4. to consume, esp hurriedly
    5. to kill
  2. to arrange or settle (matters) by placing into correct or final conditionman proposes, God disposes
  3. (tr) to make willing or receptive
  4. (tr) to adjust or place in a certain order or position
  5. (tr often foll by to) to accustom or condition


  1. an obsolete word for disposal, disposition

late 14c., from Old French disposer (13c.) “arrange, order, control, regulate” (influenced in form by poser “to place”), from Latin disponere “put in order, arrange, distribute,” from dis- “apart” (see dis-) + ponere “to put, place” (see position). Related: Disposed; disposing.


Attend to, settle, deal with, as in He quickly disposed of the problem. [Early 1600s]


Transfer, part with, as by giving away or selling. For example, They wanted to dispose of the land as soon as possible. [Second half of 1600s]


Get rid of, throw out, as in Can we dispose of the trash in this barrel? Oliver Goldsmith had this idiom in She Stoops to Conquer (1773): “I’m disposing of the husband before I have secured the lover.” [Mid-1600s]


Kill or destroy; also, humorously, consume. For example, The king was determined to dispose of his enemies, or John disposed of the cake in no time. [Second half of 1800s]

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