If you dispose of something, you get rid of it. Don't want that sweatshirt with the clown's face on it? Give it away, throw it out, even sell it — these are all ways to dispose of that awful shirt.

The verb dispose comes from the Latin word disponere, meaning “put in order,” “arrange,” or “distribute" — like when you dispose volunteers to collect trash at a park. The word of usually follows dispose when it means "getting rid of something." Another meaning is "make willing or open to something," like your childhood love of reading that disposes you to becoming a life-long reader.

Definitions of dispose
  1. verb
    give, sell, or transfer to another
    “She disposed of her parents' possessions”
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    dispose anew
    type of:
    exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent
  2. verb
    throw or cast away
    synonyms: cast aside, cast away, cast out, chuck out, discard, fling, put away, throw away, throw out, toss, toss away, toss out
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    discard something previously learnt, like an old habit
    deep-six, give it the deep six
    toss out; get rid of
    throw away, of something encumbering
    junk, scrap, trash
    dispose of (something useless or old)
    get rid of
    throw away as refuse
    dispose of (something no longer useful or needed)
    forsake; leave behind
    liquidize, sell out, sell up
    get rid of all one's merchandise
    dispose of by selling
    close out
    terminate by selling off or disposing of
    chuck, ditch
    throw away
    dispense with
    forgo or do or go without
    forego, forfeit, forgo, give up, throw overboard, waive
    lose (s.th.) or lose the right to (s.th.) by some error, offense, or crime
    commit forever; commit irrevocably
    type of:
    get rid of, remove
    dispose of
  3. verb
    place or put in a particular order
    “the dots are unevenly disposed
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    type of:
    lay, place, pose, position, put, set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
  4. verb
    make fit or prepared
    synonyms: qualify
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    disqualify, indispose, unfit
    make unfit or unsuitable
    qualify for teaching at a university in Europe
    make capable
    type of:
    groom, prepare, train
    educate for a future role or function
  5. verb
    make receptive or willing towards an action or attitude or belief
    synonyms: incline
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    disincline, indispose
    make unwilling
    make susceptible
    type of:
    determine, influence, mold, regulate, shape
    shape or influence; give direction to
  6. verb
    bring to an end; settle conclusively
    synonyms: adjudicate, decide, resolve, settle
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    determine the result of (a competition)
    decide how much is to be paid on an insurance claim
    referee, umpire
    be a referee or umpire in a sports competition
    type of:
    end, terminate
    bring to an end or halt
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