Definition of disposition in English:



  • 1A person's inherent qualities of mind and character.

    ‘your sunny disposition has a way of rubbing off on those around you’
    • ‘The applicant might be a dangerous psychopath who only mixes with people of a similar disposition, yet is immensely popular within that group.’
    • ‘Previous research has indicated that a positive or negative disposition can impact the effects of stress on the heart.’
    • ‘Rather it was the people and their dispositions.’
    • ‘Now I would like those of a nervous disposition to read no further.’
    • ‘But surely, I say, there are some people blessed with sunny dispositions - it doesn't necessarily mean they're valiantly trying to stop themselves from sliding into despair.’
    • ‘Whether on top after a winning streak or down to his last few francs, he maintains the same sunny, positive disposition.’
    • ‘Her gentle, good humoured and obliging nature, mild manner and unassuming disposition commended her to all fortunate enough to make her acquaintance.’
    • ‘She is neither of the class nor the disposition to assume the world owes her a favour.’
    • ‘Carol longs for both love and friendship, and uses her sunny disposition to hide an inner loneliness and desire to belong.’
    • ‘His cheery disposition masked a fierce determination to win, which culminated in a phone call to Cochrane - now his agent.’
    • ‘Yet through it all, while his naturally positive disposition has encouraged him to widen his field of vision and raise his sights, Stewart believes he has remained essentially unchanged.’
    • ‘There must be hundreds, thousands of words, which quite aptly describe persons of certain dispositions.’
    • ‘It is precisely that terrible complex of dispositions of the heart and mind, weighing so on a man, that is that treasure.’
    • ‘Have you ever noticed how, whenever you are reminded of this special event, your disposition changes?’
    • ‘A call to his mobile found him in a relatively sunny disposition, as though the argument the day before had never taken place.’
    • ‘I have been repeatedly astonished by the angelic dispositions of people working for the poor, the maimed, and the doomed in the most hideous of circumstances where the children die in their care.’
    • ‘Another possibility is that such personality dispositions as risk-taking, sensation-seeking, and impulsivity may underlie both sexual activity and alcohol use.’
    • ‘Expectations as to the effects of marijuana, deriving either from personality dispositions or from social learning, can also influence the subjective experience of marijuana use.’
    • ‘Caged, with no food or water, his placid disposition changed to that of a raging fiend.’
    • ‘Obviously I can't reveal how old she is - there may be people of a nervous disposition reading this, and the shock could be too much for them.’
    temperament, nature, character, constitution, make-up, grain, humour, temper, mentality, turn of mind
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    1. 1.1often with infinitive An inclination or tendency.
      ‘the judge's disposition toward clemency’
      ‘the cattle showed a decided disposition to run’
      • ‘True curiosity, however, involves detachment - a decrease of our disposition to reach conclusions in favour of keen observation.’
      • ‘If you are of a disposition to drag yourself out to a match over the holiday, you will know what I mean: football on the telly is a pale imitation.’
      • ‘Again, it is true that religion plays an important part in the American disposition to take moral values seriously.’
      • ‘He defined a statesman as having ‘a disposition to preserve and an ability to improve.’’
      • ‘If there is a curse here it is the curse of too much money, power, and leisure time combined with a disposition for risk taking.’
      • ‘The left has an instinctive disposition to side with the people.’
      • ‘So, if there is a genetic disposition to stroke, it doesn't mean it can't be prevented.’
      • ‘Religious reawakening was needed to strengthen people's innate disposition to distinguish right from wrong.’
      • ‘MacLeod didn't have the disposition to turn down the rising pressure, declaring Scotland could win the World Cup.’
      • ‘Many speak of John Anderson's disposition to anguish and agonising.’
      • ‘And not many non-academics would have had the time or the disposition to try and decipher what they are about.’
      • ‘But the disposition to assume growth has been replaced by an expectation of decline.’
      • ‘All that love tennis know that Tim has the talent and disposition to win; and let's hope that this is the year for him.’
      • ‘The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority.’
      • ‘True, the terms of entry were not clearly canvassed, but we may assume a clear disposition to favour New Zealand entry.’
      • ‘Tolerance is a willingness to allow others to exist; humility is a willingness to be open to others, with a disposition to learn and change.’
      • ‘Obviously, we have some genetic disposition to reproduce or the race would have ended long ago.’
      • ‘Subsequent lapses in devotion or attitude do not alter God's disposition to save the individual.’
      • ‘It's easy to never take any time off and not notice the slowing of your pace, the increased disposition to make mistakes, to start forgetting stuff, to just generally not be firing on all cylinders.’
      • ‘Thus a person who has a disposition to accept bribes but who is never offered any is not corrupt, except perhaps in an attenuated sense.’
      inclination, tendency, proneness, propensity, proclivity, leaning, orientation, bias, bent, predilection
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  • 2The way in which something is placed or arranged, especially in relation to other things.

    ‘the plan need not be accurate so long as it shows the disposition of the rooms’
    • ‘Bourges and Normandy offer some striking examples of the way in which stained glass can magnify the structural disposition of an edifice.’
    • ‘Table 2 shows the disposition of revised manuscripts received through October 10, 2000.’
    • ‘Additionally, both any putative aggregation pattern and the exact disposition of the interfacial tryptophans may differ for this conformer.’
    • ‘Fast-acting muscles have highly ordered structure due to the closely interrelated disposition of membranes and myofibrils.’
    • ‘In all conditions except that of free fall, a live body can be distinguished from an inert structure by the relative disposition of the body parts, its ‘posture’.’
    • ‘The results show that each head in a crown pair has a distinct structural disposition.’
    • ‘The use of the terms updip and downdip/basinwards refers to moving into shallower or deeper water on this palaeoslope, rather than present structural disposition.’
    • ‘In the early 1990s John began to seriously plan for the inevitable disposition of his collection.’
    • ‘Because of the linear disposition of the speaker array along a usual pedestrian path, the glitches stalk the person during the whole phase of mobile communication initiation.’
    • ‘Fig.1 shows the disposition of the amino acids at the interface of the protein.’
    • ‘Arrangement, disposition of parts, subserviency of means to an end, relation of instruments to a use, imply the presence of intelligence and mind.’
    • ‘Analysis of their results reveals that there is great deal of variability among neonates with regards to the disposition of mdomethacin.’
    • ‘The spatial disposition of the pores relative to the electroporating pulse was, however, not resolved.’
    arrangement, arranging, disposal, ordering, positioning, placement, lining up, setting up, organization, configuration
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    1. 2.1 The action of arranging or ordering people or things in a particular way.
      ‘the prerogative gives the state widespread powers regarding the disposition and control of the armed forces’
      • ‘By observing the spirit of the enemy's men and getting the best position, you can work out the enemy's disposition and move your men accordingly.’
      • ‘There were different methods of commitment to battle and disposition of reserve front forces.’
      • ‘The only solution was to open and inventory each container to determine the proper disposition of the items.’
      • ‘Considerable advance was made in force disposition, battle order and AT defense organization.’
      • ‘This led to quick evaluations and dispositions for mobilized soldiers.’
      • ‘Counsel are invited to submit brief written submissions on the disposition of costs on this matter.’
      • ‘Stalin's military and political dispositions once the war started have incurred odium.’
      • ‘If you feel you need to retain some degree of control over the disposition of the retirement assets after your death, you may consider designating a trust as your beneficiary.’
      • ‘We would not interfere with his disposition of the costs.’
      • ‘The disposition of costs in this matter presents me with real difficulty.’
      • ‘Furthermore, Kansas' right to control the disposition of any recovery was entirely unencumbered.’
    2. 2.2dispositions Military preparations, in particular the stationing of troops ready for attack or defense.
      ‘the new strategic dispositions of our forces’
      • ‘One Japanese officer later told his captives he had posed as a native and observed them close hand while noting the strength and disposition of the Australian positions.’
      • ‘The primary order of battle factors are composition, disposition, and strength.’
      • ‘We spent the good part of the first night understanding the troop dispositions.’
      • ‘Gen. Gerald J. Higgins, the assistant division commander and an experienced infantryman, with ensuring that troop dispositions supported his defense plans.’
      • ‘This is not war where the dispositions of forces, aircraft on airfields and headquarters of the aggressor are not subjected to enemy pressure.’
      • ‘Second, the relative ease with which it is possible to define forts and fortresses allows us to consider the impact of the revolt on military dispositions.’
      • ‘He was often careless with tactical dispositions and as a result, his army lost thousands of men.’
      • ‘They can reconnoiter to determine enemy dispositions and occupy observation posts from which they can observe the battlefield and relay information to the commander.’
      • ‘The troop dispositions were disappointing, with infantry, tank and artillery units intermixed and based on widely separated hills unable to support each other.’
      • ‘It was therefore essential that, in making his dispositions, the strategist should know what kind of a war he was going to have to fight.’
  • 3Law
    The action of distributing or transferring property or money to someone, in particular by bequest.

    ‘this is a tax that affects the disposition of assets on death’
    • ‘It, therefore, for the purposes of the Tax Act, which is now applying differently to the real facts, treats that disposition of property as a distribution of profits.’
    • ‘There was some contention as to the sale and disposition of certain assets.’
    • ‘At the top of page 395 he mentions somebody fraudulently assisting a trustee in disposition of some trust property.’
    • ‘The freedom of testamentary disposition, of course, is a matter of statute under the Wills Act, originally under the statute of wills.’
    • ‘Family relations are strengthened, however, by the law of inheritance, which does not recognize a principle of free testamentary disposition.’
    distribution, disposal, allocation, transfer, transference, conveyance, making over, bestowal, bequest
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  • 4The power to deal with something as one pleases.

    ‘if Napoleon had had railroads at his disposition, he would have been invincible’
    • ‘The more weapons the player owns, the more weapons he has at his disposition.’
    • ‘You have dedicated some of the material resources at your disposition to the creation of Art.’
    • ‘They used the funds placed at their disposition in ways that were hardly conspicuous for spiritual disinterestedness.’
    • ‘Climbers these days have a variety of helmets at their disposition, and many work under different principles.’
    • ‘A state is not a society, a nation or a territory; but a mode of regulation and control, and the disposition of official violence.’
    • ‘‘We will put the deal at the disposition of whoever emerges as president,’ Laporta said in a news conference in Barcelona.’
    • ‘Now she found herself at the command of an army of merry pirates, with two ships at her disposition, and holding prisoner both the pirates' Captain and the hunter that had dragged her in this splendid adventure.’
    • ‘He has very few moves at his disposition, he can't destroy most of the blocks in his way, he can't even swim properly.’
    at the disposal of, for use by, in reserve for, in the hands of, in the possession of, within the reach of, within easy reach of, at someone's fingertips
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    1. 4.1archaic The determination of events by divine power.
      • ‘The necessity of man's willing and acting in conformity to his apprehensions and disposition, is, in their opinion, fully consistent with all the liberty which can belong to a rational nature.’
      • ‘Thus Graham is hesitant("It may be" and "I can't say for certain") to acknowledge that God's disposition of judgment can be reliably discerned here.’
      • ‘The first is that there are good reasons to think that there are irreducible dispositions in nature, and that where such dispositions are manifested, there are logically necessary causal connections.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin dispositio(n-), from disponere ‘arrange’ (see dispose).