General English


  • verb to refuse to accept


  • verb to get a batsman or batting side out
    Citation ‘Kapil Dev, 35, became Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker on Feb 8, when he dismissed Sri Lanka’s Hashan Tillekeratne in the third Test at Ahmedabad’ (WCM March 1994)
    Citation ‘Australia were dismissed cheaply but McGrath, taking gleeful advantage of the slope, undermined England’ (Stephen Brenkley, Wisden 2006)


  • verb to send someone away
  • verb to remove someone from their job
  • verb to release servicepeople at the end of a parade

Origin & History of “dismiss”

Ultimately, dismiss and demise (16th c.) are the same word: both come from Old French desmis or demis ‘sent away’. these in turn came from dismissus, the medieval descendant of Latin dīmissus, which was the past participle of dīmittere, a compound verb formed from dis- ‘away’ and mittere ‘send’. In the case of dismiss, English originally acquired the word, more logically, in the form dismit, based on the Latin infinitive, but in the late 15th century dismiss, in the past participial form dismissed modelled on the French past participle, began to replace it. Demise comes from Anglo-Norman *demise, which represents a nominal use of the feminine form of Old French demis. It was originally a technical legal term signifying the transference of property or title, and only in the 18th century came to be used for the ‘death’ which often brought this about.