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dis·patch also des·patch (dĭ-spăch)
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tr.v. dis·patched, dis·patch·ing, dis·patch·es also des·patched, des·patch·ing, des·patch·es
1. To relegate to a specific destination or send on specific business. See Synonyms at send1.
2.
a. To complete, transact, or dispose of promptly: dispatch an errand.
b. To eat up (food); finish off (a dish or meal).
3. To put to death summarily.
n.
1. The act of sending off, as to a specific destination.
2. Dismissal or rejection of something regarded as unimportant or unworthy of consideration: "[his] breezy dispatch of another Establishment fiction writer" (Christopher Hitchens).
3. The act of putting to death.
4. Speed in performance or movement. See Synonyms at haste.
5. (also dĭspăch)
a. A written message, particularly an official communication, sent with speed.
b. An important message sent by a diplomat or an officer in the armed forces.
c. A news item sent to a news organization, as by a correspondent.

[Spanish despachar or Italian dispacciare, both probably ultimately from Old Provençal empachar, to impede, from Vulgar Latin *impāctāre, frequentative of Latin impingere, to dash against; see IMPINGE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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