Definition of dispensary in US English:


nounPlural dispensaries

  • 1A room where medicines are prepared and provided.

    • ‘When completed it will consist of a full primary school of 16 classrooms, a dispensary, nursery school, playgrounds, sanitation facilities, a brothers' house and staff house.’
    • ‘The new unit offers spacious consultation rooms designed to maximise privacy and dignity, a pharmacy dispensary, a cancer information and support centre, a comfortable waiting area and a refreshment bar staffed by volunteers.’
    • ‘Under the patients' choice item scheme, the authority hopes to draw up a list of medicines that are available from the hospital dispensaries at current rates.’
    • ‘The dispensary, with its scores of bottles containing different coloured medicines on the shelves, has been left just as Alf would have found it in the 1950s.’
    • ‘A dispensary room featured all the tablets and medicines which were once doled out to sheep, horses, dogs and cats.’
    • ‘From obstetrics, she went to the dispensary and the emergency room.’
    • ‘A nurse is assigned to the central station of each pod and provides support, triage, and technical and dispensary services for all six examination rooms.’
    • ‘For example, a local doctor contracted to provide care to Woomera detainees noted that the dispensary at the camp did not fill at least one prescription he provided to an inmate because the drug was regarded as excessively expensive.’
    • ‘An increasing number of city and county residents have complained of the presence of dispensaries in their neighborhoods, however, and city officials are not happy with the little to no regulation, spurring the recent moratoriums.’
    • ‘Efforts were being made to make these books available at the ‘new reading points’ such as hospitals, dispensaries, and haircut saloons, Mr. Nagaraj said.’
    • ‘All that left was for the dispensary to issue some medicine, which they did, but not before the women lying on the bench next to me vomited all over the floor.’
    • ‘The sets of ampoules were made up at an independent homoeopathic dispensary (the Centre for the Study of Complementary Medicine, Southampton) with numerical codes on each of the bottles.’
    • ‘It would create state-regulated dispensaries to supply marijuana, let authorized growers sell pot to patients for a profit, and allow patients to possess a pound of it at a time instead of the current 3-ounce limit.’
    • ‘The centre is equipped with a dispensary having all herbal medicines and expert druggists from the AVP.’
    • ‘Four hospitals were built at conveniently spaced distances along the road and equipped with dispensaries, operating rooms, wards, kitchens and quarters for staff.’
    • ‘There will be ten consultant rooms, two treatment rooms to be used by nurse practitioners and district nurses, a minor operations room, a health education room for health visitors, a counselling room and a dispensary.’
  • 2A clinic provided by public or charitable funds.

    • ‘‘There is no money in the family, because of the many times I attended dispensaries and did not get well’.’
    • ‘These types of medicines are only allowed to be sold at dispensaries with physicians' prescriptions,’ Rachmat said.’
    • ‘£300 could buy a kit of equipment and medicines for a village dispensary which enables a trained volunteer health worker to detect and treat the majority of simple illnesses among rural children and mothers.’
    • ‘Rajasthan had 17 Unani dispensaries and 7 Ayurveda dispensaries in 1947.’
    • ‘Before this time, dispensaries, which provided advice and medicine to parents, existed.’
    • ‘Every one knows the fact that Christian missionary institutions run their schools, colleges, dispensaries and hospitals etc very enthusiastically and successfully.’
    • ‘Our first rough estimate is that we've raised just under a thousand pounds - all in aid of providing a medical dispensary for one of the poorest areas of India.’
    • ‘Malaria and tuberculosis were dealt with in the little dispensary.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Oregon voters turned down the chance to revise their existing law by allowing patients to get their medicine from dispensaries regulated by the state.’
    • ‘People were unable to attend the dispensary, so staff from both MDM and the Palestinian Scientific Medical Association went to collect patients from their homes, while briefing the army coordination officer about their movements.’
    • ‘Although several makeshift dispensaries are erected during the Hajj season, these are often difficult to access, largely on account of the human mass.’
    • ‘Just £300 could buy a kit of equipment and medicines for a village dispensary, which enables a trained volunteer health worker to detect and treat the majority of simple illnesses among rural children and mothers.’
    • ‘In one such camp there is only one doctor from a Rajasthan hospital, Dr Aquil Ansari who has opened a temporary dispensary in a class room and who is tending to patients day and night.’
    • ‘In ancient China, it was quite common for doctors to be seen in dispensaries diagnosing diseases for patients and prescribing Traditional Chinese Medicines as the treatment.’
    • ‘They tried to pressure him into closing his dispensary.’
    • ‘Therapeutic feeding centres are attached to dispensaries in larger settlements.’
    • ‘Vaccinations undertaken either by a nurse in the dispensaries or by mobile teams, did not comply with the vaccination schedules.’
    • ‘In the area of health care in camps even though dispensaries were provided with adequate staff yet the related infrastructural facilities equipments are conspicuous by their dearth.’
    • ‘Every district has a medical dispensary, although many lack supplies and medicine.’
    • ‘His activities are listed as preaching, open-air mission, medical treatment and education, together with building schools, a medical dispensary, a place of worship and a missionary house.’
  • 3North American A facility that prepares and sells medical marijuana.

    ‘state-issued ID cards are good for up to two ounces of pot a month from state-approved dispensaries’
    • ‘Federal agents continue to target medical marijuana dispensaries, even when such organizations are protected by state laws.’
    • ‘"The thing most at jeopardy is the dispensaries and big growers."’
    • ‘Nothing against the local pot dealer, but dispensaries seem to be a safe, accommodating, affordable and necessary thing in California society.’
    • ‘The 50 trimmers at this clandestine grow site work 16-hour days for three weeks, hand-trimming top-grade marijuana destined for medical marijuana patients and dispensaries in San Francisco.’
    • ‘Even if I could get a recommendation, I knew of no compassion clubs (medical marijuana cooperatives or dispensaries) in my area.’
    • ‘His 350-plant indoor grow, which produces about two ounces per plant, supplies a 12-member patient collective, two dispensaries, and an AIDS hospice.’
    • ‘In 2002 he was convicted by federal authorities for providing medical marijuana to a dispensary in California.’
    • ‘He was the first person associated with a California medical-marijuana dispensary to be tried under federal law.’
    • ‘Most collectives meet their expenses by selling their surplus pot to dispensaries or directly to other patients.’
    • ‘Owners of the Hayward dispensaries must now sign off on a host of regulations, including restrictions on the amount of marijuana they may stock, a ban on advertising, and enacting policies to prevent loitering and smoking in or near the dispensaries.’


Late 17th century: from medieval Latin dispensarium, neuter (used as a noun) of dispensarius, from Latin dispensare (see dispense).