1. To deal out in portions; to distribute; to give; as, the steward dispenses provisions according directions; nature dispenses her bounties; to dispense medicines. He is delighted to dispense a share of it to all the company. (Sir W. Scott)
2. To apply, as laws to particular cases; to administer; to execute; to manage; to direct. While you dispense the laws, and guide the state. (Dryden)
3. To pay for; to atone for. His sin was dispensed With gold, whereof it was compensed. (Gower)
4. To exempt; to excuse; to absolve; with from. It was resolved that all members of the house who held commissions, should be dispensed from parliamentary attendance. (Macaulay) He appeared to think himself born to be supported by others, and dispensed from all necessity of providing for himself. (Johnson)
Origin: f. Dispenser, L. Dispensare, intens. Of dispendere. See Dispend.