Meaning of DISMISS in English

I. də̇ˈsmis verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

Etymology: modification (influenced by dis- ) of Latin dimissus, past participle of dimittere, from di- (from dis- apart) + mittere to send — more at dis- , smite

transitive verb


a. : to grant or furnish leave to depart : permit or cause to leave

after instructing him, the master dismissed the servant

b. : to send away severally : disband , disperse

dismiss one's retainers

specifically : to order (a military unit) to break ranks at the end of a formation


a. : to divorce (a wife) by sending away or repudiating

b. : reject

forlorn as a dismissed suitor

3. : to send or remove from employment, enrollment, position, or office

editors and journalists who express opinions in print that are opposed to the interests of the rich are dismissed — G.B.Shaw

reserves the right to dismiss a student at any time if his conduct is considered unsatisfactory — Bulletin of Meharry Medical College

specifically : to discharge (a military officer or cadet) without honor by reason of a sentence to dismissal by a general court-martial


a. : to put out of one's mind : cease further consideration of : refuse to consider seriously

scarcely had the thought formed itself in my mind before I dismissed it as utterly incredible — W.H.Hudson †1922

the older view … may now be dismissed as antiquated — Edward Sapir

we may dismiss these harmonizers as plainly ignorant of the history of religion — M.R.Cohen

b. : to put (a legal action or a party) out of judicial consideration : refuse to hear or hear further in court

5. : to put out (a batsman) in cricket

intransitive verb

: to break ranks : disperse

when the drill was over the company dismissed


discharge , cashier , drop , sack , fire , bounce : dismiss in the sense of letting go from employment, position, or service is more comprehensive in its use than any of its synonyms and less suggestive or rich in connotation

spoke of the sovereign as receiving and holding all revenues, appointing and dismissing ministers, making treaties — F.A.Ogg & Harold Zink

dismissed the night watchers from the room, and remained with her alone — George Meredith

discharge is a more stringent term in reference to cessation of employment; it suggests a more positive and forceful termination, usually permanent and often for cause

you took workmen under pressure of the most extravagant assurances of competency, and found yourself next day involved in the necessity of discharging them for egregious ignorance of what they had been hired to do — Mary Austin

although there was some evidence supporting the employer's claim that the employee was discharged for incompetence, the company has the obligation … to act in such a manner that there can be no doubt that they are discharging him and not merely laying him off — Digest of Labor Relations Development

cashier is used in situations involving formal, decisive, summary dismissal with discredit from high position

the few sentimental fanatics who … proceeded upon the assumption that academic freedom was yet inviolable, and so got themselves cashiered, and began posturing in radical circles as martyrs — H.L.Mencken

it wasn't every decade that the republic fathered an Oriental proconsul or that a president cashiered him — Theodore Morrison

drop , sack , fire and bounce are all more or less informal. drop is the mildest and is close to dismiss in colorlessness

he learned that he had been dropped from the army on May 31, 1834, for overstaying his leave of absence — W.J.Ghent

sack may indicate summary dismissal as contentious, incompetent, or no longer useful

“If you insist on going beyond your authority — ” “You can sack me” — Dorothy Sayers

fire may indicate sudden, peremptory, and very decisive dismissal

he was fired that afternoon when his drinking came to the boss's attention

bounce may imply being kicked out, that is, being dismissed abruptly and forcefully

Wallace had to bounce him and 20 other AAA employees because too many people complained that the group was trying to change the world too fast — Time

Synonym: see in addition eject .

II. noun

( -es )

obsolete : dismissal

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.