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despatch (countable and uncountable, plural despatches)

  1. Alternative form of dispatch
    • 1843, William Hickling Prescott, The Conquest of Mexico, Volume 1, 1957, page 31,
      The courier, bearing his despatches in the form of a hieroglyphical painting, ran with them to the first station, [] .
    • 1931, Francis Beeding, “1/1”, in Death Walks in Eastrepps[1]:
      Eldridge closed the despatch-case with a snap and, rising briskly, walked down the corridor to his solitary table in the dining-car.


despatch (third-person singular simple present despatches, present participle despatching, simple past and past participle despatched)

  1. Alternative form of dispatch
    • 1833, Massachusetts Medical Society, New England Surgical Society, Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Volumes 8-9, page 31,
      She fainted, was got into bed, and a messenger was despatched for me.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy. [] Passengers wander restlessly about or hurry, with futile energy, from place to place. Pushing men hustle each other at the windows of the purser's office, under pretence of expecting letters or despatching telegrams.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.

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