verb (used with or without object), noun
verb (used with object)
- to send off or away with speed, as a messenger, telegram, body of troops, etc.
- to dismiss (a person), as after an audience.
- to put to death; kill: The spy was promptly dispatched.
- to transact or dispose of (a matter) promptly or speedily.
verb (used without object)
- Archaic. to hasten; be quick.
- the sending off of a messenger, letter, etc., to a destination.
- the act of putting to death; killing; execution.
- prompt or speedy transaction, as of business.
- expeditious performance; promptness or speed: Proceed with all possible dispatch.
- a method of effecting a speedy delivery of goods, money, etc.
- a conveyance or organization for the expeditious transmission of goods, money, etc.
- a written message sent with speed.
- an official communication sent by special messenger.
- Journalism. a news story transmitted to a newspaper, wire service, or the like, by one of its reporters, or by a wire service to a newspaper or other news agency.
- mentioned in dispatches, British. honored by being named in official military reports for special bravery or acts of service.
- (tr) a less common spelling of dispatch
- to send off promptly, as to a destination or to perform a task
- to discharge or complete (a task, duty, etc) promptly
- informal to eat up quickly
- to murder or execute
- the act of sending off a letter, messenger, etc
- prompt action or speed (often in the phrase with dispatch)
- an official communication or report, sent in haste
- journalism a report sent to a newspaper, etc, by a correspondent
- murder or execution
18c. variant of dispatch (q.v.), apparently the result of an error in the printing of Johnson’s dictionary.
1510s, “to send off in a hurry,” from a word in Spanish (despachar “expedite, hasten”) or Italian (dispacciare “to dispatch”). For first element, see dis-. The exact source of the second element has been proposed as Vulgar Latin *pactare “to fasten, fix” or *pactiare, or as Latin -pedicare “to entrap” (from Latin pedica “shackle;” see impeach); and the Spanish and Italian words seem to be related to (perhaps opposites of) Old Provençal empachar “impede.” See OED for full discussion. Meaning “to get rid of by killing” is attested from 1520s. Related: Dispatched; dispatching. As a noun, from 1540s, originally “dismissal;” sense of “a message sent speedily” is first attested 1580s.