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I recently ran into a word that I hadn't encountered before in my life in this context:

"Well, thanks a lot [BlackVegetable] both for your quick reply and disponibility."

(It's in a comment on Stack Overflow.)

Intrigued, I performed a quick Google search on the word "Disponibility" which led me to the Wiktionary entry stating:

Noun: availability

What on earth? I thought I would have encountered this in a thesaurus or some other context for such a common word by now. When is this word (supposed to be) used, and is it an exact synonym?

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disponibilité –  Gnawme Jan 24 '14 at 16:39
If you'd asked me, without this context, I would have said it was a coinage for "lack of responsibility". Of course, "dismember" is not the opposite of "remember", either :) –  JeffSahol Mar 13 '14 at 19:14

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

My guess is that the person who used it is a native French speaker and translated disponibilité with the closest sounding cognate. (Could be similar in Spanish, I don't know.) I say this because disponibilité is extremely common in French where we would use availability (e.g. "pas de disponibilité" for an apartment or job that is taken).

Interestingly, the more common way this Latin root "-pon-" is borrowed is "pose," and indeed we do borrow this French word with "pose," e.g. in the expression "at your disposal" = "available to you." Of course, if he had thanked you a lot for your disposal, that might have been even more confusing...

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Disponible is indeed also Spanish word for availability or vacancy (of a facility). In English, I have only encountered it in academic or technical writing, especially as a term of art in macroeconomics and in Christian theology. –  choster Jan 24 '14 at 16:17

I recognised it, as did @hunter, as the French for 'available', but was a bit surprised to find that 'disponible' is actually recognised by the OED as an English word. (Goodness knows how it is pronounced; not the French way, that's for sure)

disponible, adj. (and n.) View as: Outline |Full entryQuotations: Show all |Hide all Pronunciation: ( /dɪˈspəʊnɪb(ə)l/ ; freq. as French /dispɔnibl/ ) Etymology: < Latin dispōnĕre to dispone v. + -ble suffix; Compare French disponible. Thesaurus »

Capable of being disponed or assigned. Also absol. as n.

1899 G. Meredith Let. 31 May (1970) III. 1328 You are more disponible and should decide to come to your friend. 1908 H. James Novels & Tales III. p. vii, He [sc. Turgenev] saw them, in that fashion, as disponibles, saw them subject to the chances, the complications of existence. 1908 H. James Novels & Tales V. p. xviii, That extremely disponible figure of Christina Light whom I had ten years before found left on my hands at the conclusion of ‘Roderick Hudson’. 1912 J. Conrad 'Twixt Land & Sea (1914) i. 11 He gave me the names of all the disponible ships with their tonnage and the names of their commanders. 1961 R. C. Knight tr. A. Bonnard Greek Civilization III. i. 17 Euripides is open to every interest of mankind... [He] is always disponible... He does not know how to forget his feelings and efface their expression, when any situation touches him too deeply. 1965 Punch 24 Mar. 447/3 One's picture of the higher civil servant—adroit, informed, disponible, never in the way or out of it.

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I have Spanish as mother tongue and I have to confess that this word tends to leak out from my mouth/fingers unconsciously every now and then. The conventional translation from Spanish to English of "disponible" is "available". According to what Jan has found in the OED, should I use "available" or "disponible"? Well based on my experience, when I make use of common Latin/Spanish words that also exist in English it turn to be that, quite often, they are not that well known by native English speakers. So, I "alter" now my formal text so it will show "availability" instead of "disponibility".

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this word comes from latim.

The word is mustly used in Portuguese, where is used in few difrent contexts.


"Obrigado pela sua disponibilidade" - "Thank you for your disponibility (availability)".


"Esta casa esta disponivel" - "This house is available"

There is more context we use it on, like: "Esta pessoa esta disponivel" - This person is available"

Spanish and French also use it was mentioned befor, but not much was we in Portugal.

But in english this word doesn't exist, so someone have problably translated it from his root language.

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Please check your spelling. All browsers nowadays are equipped with spell checkers, you can use either download an American or British one, there is no excuse for such bad spelling. –  Mari-Lou A Nov 3 '14 at 11:25

As a native french speaker, I can confirm you that the guy who told you "Thank you for your disponibility" wanted to tell you "Thank you for your availability!". This mistake is often made by french people. As hunter said, "disponibilité (french word)" => "availability".

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