dis·patch also des·patch (dĭ-spăch)
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.
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.
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 ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.