Definition of dispositive in English:


Line breaks: dis|posi|tive
Pronunciation: /dɪsˈpɒzətɪv


  • 1Relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue or the disposition of property: such litigation will rarely be dispositive of any question
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    • Like the trial court, we, too, find the case of California Medical, supra, 79 Cal.App.4th 542 applicable and dispositive to the issue raised on appeal.
    • For example, the parties might agree that discovery be limited, that a few representative claims be tried, and that certain dispositive issues be tried first.
    • But neither factor is dispositive.
  • 1.1(In Scots and US law) dealing with the disposition of property by deed or will: the testator had to make his signature after making the dispositive provisions
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    • One of my clients, for example, was concerned about the dispositive provisions of an irrevocable life insurance trust he established 10 years ago.
    • I am not going to deal with the Part 8 application because even if I find that, in Law, the Wife is entitled to receive her marriage portion, I am able to adjust that sum using my dispositive powers under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
    • First registration has no dispositive effect (that is, it does not transfer an estate); it merely records the state of the title already held by the applicant.
  • 1.2(In US law) producing a final settlement or determination.
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    • But this argument cannot be dispositive because Baker itself involved a claim that a state had abused the power of drawing district lines.
    • The Commission makes no effort to explain why the lack of an indictment was dispositive outside of a law enforcement context.
    • The administration argues strenuously that the arbitrator's award is dispositive of Mr. Yousry's legal status.
  • 1.3Dealing with the settling of international conflicts by an agreed disposition of disputed territories: a peace settlement in the nature of a dispositive treaty
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    • Because adjudication is dispositive the attitude of states towards compulsory jurisdiction is conspicuously ambivalent.
    • The criterion for the category of dispositive treaties is evidently an elusive one.


late Middle English (in the sense 'contributory, conducive'): from Old French, or from medieval Latin dispositivus, from Latin disposit- 'arranged, disposed', from the verb disponere (see dispose).

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