Definition of dispatch in English:


Line breaks: dis|patch
Pronunciation: /dɪˈspatʃ
(also despatch)


[with object]
  • 1Send off to a destination or for a purpose: he dispatched messages back to base [with object and infinitive]: the government dispatched 150 police to restore order
    More example sentences
    • They didn't have any weapons - or weed, for that matter - so they were dispatched and sent on their way.
    • From his driveway, Benelli dispatches patrol cars and sends officers to new assignments.
    • Police quickly dispatch a cab and send them home.


Back to top  
  • 2An official report on state or military affairs: in his battle dispatch he described the gunner’s bravery
    More example sentences
    • It is building up a new squad of highly-trained birds able to handle confidential military dispatches.
    • His official dispatch, written in 1945, was placed on the restricted list apparently because the Air Ministry took objection to it.
    • I am told that many of these early military telegraphic dispatches survive in the War Department collection of the U.S. National Archives.
    communication, communiqué, bulletin, release, report, account, announcement, statement, missive, letter, epistle, message, instruction; news, intelligence
    informal memo, info, low-down, dope
    literary tidings
  • 2.1A report sent in from abroad by a journalist: he conducted meetings for the correspondents and censored their dispatches
    More example sentences
    • Thus each of my 17 chapters begins with a dateline, as if it were a journalistic dispatch.
    • The Associated Press sent a dispatch out of Bangkok that they considered news.
    • The best journalistic despatches always come from behind enemy lines.
  • 3 [mass noun] The killing of someone or something: the executioner’s merciful dispatch of his victims
    More example sentences
    • The entry of Michael Corleone into the family business, the transition of power from his father, the ruthless dispatch of his enemies - all of this is told with an assurance that is simply outstanding.
    • As soon as hounds do get close to a glycogen depleted deer, it is very unlikely to escape and its despatch is generally prompt.
    • She received a letter from Sir Anthony Babington, asking for her to approve "the dispatch of the usurping Competitor" – in other words, the assassination of Elizabeth.



More example sentences
  • We will investigate why the train dispatchers from both stations dispatched the trains at the same time.
  • It is not the killers and their dispatchers who are put on trial, it is the victims.
  • While some workers gathered in the parking lot to mark the solemn anniversary, dispatchers inside answered calls and kept an eye on the memorial service being televised from New York.


early 16th century: from Italian dispacciare or Spanish despachar 'expedite', from dis-, des- (expressing reversal) + the base of Italian impacciare, Spanish empachar 'hinder'.

More definitions of dispatch

Definition of dispatch in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody