Definition of dispensable in English:


Line breaks: dis¦pens|able
Pronunciation: /dɪˈspɛnsəb(ə)l


  • 1Able to be replaced or done without; superfluous: the captain’s loss of form made him dispensable
    More example sentences
    • The fourth group can be characterized as the urban working class, most of whom are increasingly dispensable and replaceable; their diminished prospects cause them to be generally opposed to globalization.
    • If we could, the manuscripts would become unnecessary, dispensable.
    • We should not, however, assume from this that for Augustine-or for us-this parable is dispensable, a redundant repetition of a message that we already know from elsewhere.
    expendable, disposable, replaceable, inessential, unessential, non-essential; unnecessary, unneeded, needless, not required, redundant, superfluous, surplus to requirements, gratuitous, uncalled for
  • 1.1(Of a law or other rule) not mandatory but susceptible of being waived in special cases.
    More example sentences
    • And finally, would the government get to decide which red streams were necessary and which were dispensable?
    • Yet these aren't dispensable technicalities or bits of mere philosophical jargon; they're essential to any useful discussion of ethics.
    • But acquisition of a land title was often a dispensable technicality for those too poor to purchase one, or who were not inclined to do so because of the vastness of the land.



Pronunciation: /-ˈbɪlɪti/
More example sentences
  • Could we develop a biological guidance system with the compliance and dispensability of a pigeon but with a man's resourcefulness and ability to infiltrate plausibly?
  • It's the sense of disposability and dispensability of the population that's ongoing and that really irks me.
  • She explores the theme of dispensability - how only some lives are worth mourning, protecting, defending and discussing.


early 16th century (in the sense 'permissible in special circumstances'): from medieval Latin dispensabilis, from Latin dispensare (see dispense).

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