Definition for DIS-PENSE'

DIS-PENSE', v.t. [dispens'; Fr. dispenser; Sp. dispensar; It. dispensare; from L. dispenso; dis and penso, from pendo, to weigh, primarily to move; and perhaps the original idea of expending was to weigh off, or to distribute by weight.]

  1. To deal or divide out in parts or portions; to distribute. The steward dispenses provisions to every man, according to his directions. The society dispenses medicines to the poor gratuitously or at first cost. God dispenses his favors according to his good pleasure.
  2. To administer; to apply, as laws to particular cases; to distribute justice. While you dispense the laws and guide the state. – Dryden. To dispense with, to permit not to take effect; to neglect or pass by; to suspend the operation or application of something required, established or customary; as, to dispense with the law, in favor of a friend; I can not dispense with the conditions of the covenant. So we say, to dispense with oaths; to dispense with forms and ceremonies. #2. To excuse from; to give leave not to do or observe what is required or commanded. The court will dispense with your attendance, or with your compliance. #3. To permit the want of a thing which is useful or convenient; as in the vulgar phrase, to do without. I can dispense with your services. I can dispense with my cloke. In this application, the phrase has an allusion to the requisitions of law or necessity; the thing dispensed with being supposed, in some degree, necessary or required. I could not dispense with myself from making a voyage to Caprea. [Not to be imitated.] – Addison. Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath? [Not legitimate.] – Shak.

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