Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to dispense

dis- 
Origin and meaning of dis-

word-forming element of Latin origin meaning 1. "lack of, not" (as in dishonest); 2. "opposite of, do the opposite of" (as in disallow); 3. "apart, away" (as in discard), from Old French des- or directly from Latin dis- "apart, asunder, in a different direction, between," figuratively "not, un-," also "exceedingly, utterly." Assimilated as dif- before -f- and to di- before most voiced consonants.

The Latin prefix is from PIE *dis- "apart, asunder" (source also of Old English te-, Old Saxon ti-, Old High German ze-, German zer-). The PIE root is a secondary form of *dwis- and thus is related to Latin bis "twice" (originally *dvis) and to duo, on notion of "two ways, in twain" (hence "apart, asunder").

In classical Latin, dis- paralleled de- and had much the same meaning, but in Late Latin dis- came to be the favored form and this passed into Old French as des-, the form used for compound words formed in Old French, where it increasingly had a privative sense ("not"). In English, many of these words eventually were altered back to dis-, while in French many have been altered back to de-. The usual confusion prevails.

As a living prefix in English, it reverses or negatives what it is affixed to. Sometimes, as in Italian, it is reduced to s- (as in spend, splay, sport, sdain for disdain, and the surnames Spencer and Spence).

Advertisement
*(s)pen- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to draw, stretch, spin."

It forms all or part of: append; appendix; avoirdupois; compendium; compensate; compensation; counterpoise; depend; dispense; equipoise; expend; expense; expensive; hydroponics; impend; painter (n.2) "rope or chain that holds an anchor to a ship's side;" pansy; penchant; pend; pendant; pendentive; pending; pendular; pendulous; pendulum; pension; pensive; penthouse; perpendicular; peso; poise; ponder; ponderous; pound (n.1) "measure of weight;" prepend; prepense; preponderate; propensity; recompense; span (n.1) "distance between two objects;" span (n.2) "two animals driven together;" spangle; spanner; spend; spider; spin; spindle; spinner; spinster; stipend; suspend; suspension.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin pendere "to hang, to cause to hang," pondus "weight" (perhaps the notion is the weight of a thing measured by how much it stretches a cord), pensare "to weigh, consider;" Greek ponos "toil," ponein "to toil;" Lithuanian spendžiu, spęsti "lay a snare;" Old Church Slavonic peti "stretch, strain," pato "fetter," pina "I span;" Old English spinnan "to spin," spannan "to join, fasten; stretch, span;" Armenian henum "I weave;" Greek patos "garment," literally "that which is spun;" Lithuanian pinu "I plait, braid," spandau "I spin;" Middle Welsh cy-ffiniden "spider;" Old English spinnan "draw out and twist fibers into thread," spiðra "spider," literally "spinner."

dispensary (n.)

"place for weighing out medicines, room or shop in which medicines are dispensed," 1690s, from Medieval Latin dispensarius, as a noun, "one who dispenses," from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight);"  frequentative of dispendere "pay out," from dis- "out" (see dis-) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Especially "public institution, primarily intended for the poor, where medical advice is given and medicines dispensed for free or for a small charge."

dispensable (adj.)

1530s, "subject to (ecclesiastical) dispensation, excusable, pardonable," from Medieval Latin dispensabilis, from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense).

Meaning "that can be done without" is from 1640s; that of "capable of being administered" is from 1670s. Later senses in some cases might be directly from dispense. Related: Dispensability.

dispensation (n.)
Origin and meaning of dispensation

late 14c., dispensacioun, "power to dispose of," also "act of dispensing or dealing out," also "a relaxation of the law in some particular case," from Old French despensacion (12c., Modern French dispensation) and directly from Latin dispensationem (nominative dispensatio) "management, charge," noun of action from past-participle stem of dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense). Related: Dispensational.

Theological sense "method or scheme by which God has developed his purposes and revealed himself to man" (late 14c.) is from the use of the Latin word to translate Greek oikonomoia "office, method of administration" (see economy). Hence "particular period during which a religious system has prevailed" (1640s), with Patriarchal, Mosaic, Christian, etc. Also "a particular distribution (for good or ill) by divine providence" (1650s).

dispenser (n.)

c. 1400, dispensour (mid-12c. as a surname), "one who administers" (a household, etc.), "one in charge of the distribution of goods and services," from Anglo-French dispensour, Old French despenseor, from Latin dispensator, agent noun from dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight);" see dispense. Meaning "a container that dispenses in fixed measure" is from 1918.

indispensable (adj.)
1530s, "not subject to dispensation," from Medieval Latin *indispensabilis, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + dispensabilis, from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense). Meaning "necessary" is from 1690s. From 17c. into 19c. often spelled indispensible, but modern dictionaries considered this improper.

As a noun, "indispensable thing," from 1794; c. 1800-1810, after French use, it was the name of a type of pocket bag worn by women. indispensables (1820) also was one of the many 1820s jocular euphemisms for "trousers" (see inexpressible). Related: Indispensably.
Spencer (n.)

surname attested from late 13c. (earlier le Despenser, mid-12c.), literally "one who dispenses or has charge of provisions in a household," short for Anglo-French espencer, Old French despencier "dispenser" (of provisions), "a butler or steward" (see dispense).

Middle English spence meant "larder, pantry," and is short for Old French despense "larder" (Modern French dépense), from despenser "to distribute," hence the surname Spence. Another form of the word is spender, which also has become a surname.

As a type of repeating rifle used in the American Civil War, 1863, named for U.S. gunsmith Christopher Spencer, who, with Luke Wheelock, manufactured them in Boston, Mass.