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dis·pen·sa·tion / ˌdispənˈsāshən; -pen-/ • n. 1. exemption from a rule or usual requirement: although she was too young, she was given special dispensation to play two matches | they were given a dispensation to take most of the first week off. ∎  permission to be exempted from the laws or observances of a church: he received papal dispensation to hold a number of benefices. 2. a system of order, government, or organization of a nation, community, etc., esp. as existing at a particular time: scholarship is conveyed to a wider audience than under the old dispensation. ∎  (in Christian theology) a divinely ordained order prevailing at a particular period of history: the Mosaic dispensation. ∎ archaic an act of divine providence: the laws to which the creator in all his dispensations conforms. 3. the action of distributing or supplying something: regulations controlling dispensation of medications. DERIVATIVES: dis·pen·sa·tion·al / -shənl/ adj.

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Dispensation. A licence granted by ecclesiastical authority to do some act otherwise canonically illegal or to remit the penalty for breaking such a rule.

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