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dispense +‎ -able


  • IPA(key): /dɪsˈpɛnsəbəl/, [dɪsˈpʰɛnsəbɫ̩], [-bəɫ]


dispensable (comparative more dispensable, superlative most dispensable)

  1. Able to be done without; able to be expended; easily replaced.
  2. Capable of being dispensed; distributable.
    • 2006, Pamela Lewis, Achieving Best Behavior for Children with Developmental Disabilities: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Parents and Carers, Jessica Kingsley Publsihers, published 2006, →ISBN, page 132:
      The reward could be a preferred food, a sticker, blowing some bubbles, a noisemaker the child enjoys, a pat on the back, or some other easily dispensable reward that does not take the child away from the task at hand for more than a moment or two.
  3. (of a law, rule, vow, etc.) Subject to dispensation; possible to relax, exempt from, or annul.
    • 2011, Will Adam, Legal Flexibility and the Mission of the Church: Dispensation and Economy in Ecclesiastical Law[1], →ISBN, page 15:
      Jones' use of the term 'Ecclesiastical Law' in his definition of dispensations in Roman Catholic canon law points to the Roman Catholic distinction between divine law, from which no dispensation is possible, and merely ecclesiastical law, which is dispensable in certain circumstances.
  4. (biochemistry, nutrition, of an amino acid) Not essential to be taken in as part of an organism's diet, as it can be synthesized de novo.
    • 2008, Marie Dunford, J. Andrew Doyle, Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, Thomson Wadsworth, published 2008, →ISBN, page 161:
      The difference in absorption rate is not surprising since whey has a high percentage of indispensable amino acids, which are absorbed more rapidly than dispensable amino acids.


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dispensable (plural dispensables)

  1. dispensable

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