The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Dispatch \Dis*patch"\, n. [Cf. OF. despeche, F. d['e]p[^e]che.
See Dispatch, v. t.] [Written also despatch.]
1. The act of sending a message or messenger in haste or on
2. Any sending away; dismissal; riddance.
To the utter dispatch of all their most beloved
3. The finishing up of a business; speedy performance, as of
business; prompt execution; diligence; haste.
Serious business, craving quick dispatch. --Shak.
To carry his scythe . . . with a sufficient dispatch
through a sufficient space. --Paley.
4. A message dispatched or sent with speed; especially, an
important official letter sent from one public officer to
another; -- often used in the plural; as, a messenger has
arrived with dispatches for the American minister; naval
or military dispatches.
5. A message transmitted by telegraph. [Modern]
Dispatch boat, a swift vessel for conveying dispatches; an
Dispatch box, a box for carrying dispatches; a box for
papers and other conveniences when traveling.
Syn: Haste; hurry; promptness; celerity; speed. See Haste.