Anything that needs to be mailed, sent off, or quickly shipped needs to be dispatched. Letters, official reports, teams of police — if it has somewhere to be, you can dispatch it to get there.

Sometimes spelled despatch, this word was first used in the early 1500s as a verb meaning “to send off in a hurry.” These days we get hurried dispatches in noun and verb form, from journalists sending in their war zone stories to emergency squads getting dispatched to the scene of an accident. And in its most sinister sense, dispatch means to kill off without delay.

Definitions of dispatch
  1. noun
    the act of sending off something
    synonyms: despatch, shipment
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    the act of shipping again (especially by transferring to another ship)
    type of:
    departure, going, going away, leaving
    the act of departing
  2. noun
    the property of being prompt and efficient
    “it was done with dispatch
    synonyms: despatch, expedition, expeditiousness
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    type of:
    celerity, quickness, rapidity, rapidness, speediness
    a rate that is rapid
  3. noun
    killing a person or animal
    synonyms: despatch
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    type of:
    kill, killing, putting to death
    the act of terminating a life
  4. verb
    send away towards a designated goal
    synonyms: despatch, send off
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    bundle off
    send off unceremoniously
    send documents or materials to appropriate destinations
    type of:
    send, ship, transport
    transport commercially
  5. verb
    complete or carry out
  6. verb
    dispose of rapidly and without delay and efficiently
    “He dispatched the task he was assigned”
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    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  7. verb
    kill without delay
    “the traitor was dispatched by the conspirators”
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    type of:
    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
  8. verb
    kill intentionally and with premeditation
    synonyms: bump off, hit, murder, off, polish off, remove, slay
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    murder without leaving a trace on the body
    murder in a planned fashion
    type of:
    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
  9. noun
    an official report (usually sent in haste)
    synonyms: communique, despatch
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    type of:
    account, news report, report, story, write up
    a short account of the news
Word Family