Definition of dispositive in US English:



  • 1Relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue or the disposition of property.

    ‘such litigation will rarely be dispositive of any question’
    • ‘Those allegations, if proven, will be helpful in providing severity or pervasiveness - as is the fact that Hayut was majoring in the subject the professor taught - but they will still not be dispositive.’
    • ‘Dignity has a wonderful resonance, but it draws its historical strength from particular theological commitments that Kass seems to realize no longer have dispositive force in our pluralistic culture.’
    • ‘Whether there was a prior inconsistent agreement is in my view clearly a genuine issue of material fact requiring trial and is dispositive of the summary judgment motion.’
    • ‘If so, the location of the dropstones might be dispositive.’
    • ‘The silence of the record is deafening and dispositive.’
    • ‘But neither factor is dispositive.’
    • ‘That does not seem a terribly precise point of law dispositive of anything, does it?’
    • ‘Such similar results are interesting, I suppose, but hardly theologically dispositive.’
    • ‘The Judge returned to this point when dealing with biological plausibility under the Bradford-Hill criteria, but as my Lord has pointed out he did not regard Professor Seaton's conclusion as at all dispositive.’
    • ‘The legal categorisation of the claim cannot be dispositive in itself.’
    • ‘They fall short of providing clear guidance dispositive of the myriad factual situations that arise.’
    • ‘Clearly, that is right, but it does not seem to me to be dispositive of the claim.’
    • ‘Like the trial court, we, too, find the case of California Medical, supra, 79 Cal.App.4th 542 applicable and dispositive to the issue raised on appeal.’
    • ‘Sure price is a big factor, but it is not the only one, and often not the dispositive one.’
    • ‘Neither opposing principle is dispositive of any individual case.’
    • ‘For example, the parties might agree that discovery be limited, that a few representative claims be tried, and that certain dispositive issues be tried first.’
    • ‘How the authority perceived the terms of that document cannot be dispositive, or even relevant, if its perception involved an error of law.’
    • ‘For them, the original understanding is either always dispositive, or creates a strong presumption that can only be overcome by very powerful arguments.’
    • ‘And the Divine Right of Kings is generally not considered to be a uniquely dispositive reason for the monarchial system.’
    • ‘Often, the notes achieve a dispositive characteristic for the fact finder where facts are in dispute.’
    1. 1.1 Dealing with the disposition of property by deed or will.
      ‘the testator had to make his signature after making the dispositive provisions’
      • ‘I am not going to deal with the Part 8 application because even if I find that, in Law, the Wife is entitled to receive her marriage portion, I am able to adjust that sum using my dispositive powers under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.’
      • ‘One of my clients, for example, was concerned about the dispositive provisions of an irrevocable life insurance trust he established 10 years ago.’
      • ‘First registration has no dispositive effect (that is, it does not transfer an estate); it merely records the state of the title already held by the applicant.’
    2. 1.2 Dealing with the settling of international conflicts by an agreed disposition of disputed territories.
      ‘a peace settlement in the nature of a dispositive treaty’
      • ‘Because adjudication is dispositive the attitude of states towards compulsory jurisdiction is conspicuously ambivalent.’
      • ‘The criterion for the category of dispositive treaties is evidently an elusive one.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘contributory, conducive’): from Old French, or from medieval Latin dispositivus, from Latin disposit- ‘arranged, disposed’, from the verb disponere (see dispose).