Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
dispense with (something)
To stop doing or eliminate something. You're still not allowed to borrow my car Saturday night, and you can dispense with the attitude. The library dispenses with its normal operating hours during finals week and instead stays open 24 hours.
dispense with (the) formalities
To not engage in the niceties or etiquette normally demanded by the social situation, such as formal introductions, because more important matters are at hand. You can dispense with the formalities, counselor—just give me an update on the situation and be on your way.
you can dispense with (something)
You can stop doing or get rid of something. You're still not allowed to borrow my car Saturday night, and you can dispense with the attitude. The library dispenses with its normal operating hours during finals week and instead stays open 24 hours.
dispense with someone or something
to get rid of someone or something; to brush someone or something aside. I think we will dispense with that subject for the rest of the day. We will have to dispense with the expensive gifts this year.
1. Manage without, forgo, as in We can dispense with the extra help. Shakespeare had this idiom in Timon of Athens (3:2): "Men must learn now with pity to dispense." [c. 1600]
2. Get rid of, do away with, as in The European Union is trying to dispense with tariff barriers. [Late 1500s]
3. Exempt one from a law, promise, or obligation, as in He asked the court to dispense with swearing on the Bible. This usage originally applied to religious obligations (to which the Pope granted dispensation). [Early 1500s]
To get rid or do away with something; forgo something: The restaurant dispensed with its dress code in order to appeal to a younger crowd.