"A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God's purpose." -Ryrie, Charles C., Dispensationalism (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 115
"A dispensation can be defined as a stage in the progressive revelation of God constituting a distinctive stewardship or rule of life." -Chafer, Lewis Sperry, Major Bible Themes (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974), 126.
The term "dispensation" appears 4 times in the King James Bible, in 1Co. 9:17, Eph. 1:10, Eph. 3:2, and Col. 1:25.
In dispensationalism, a dispensation refers to a way in which God deals with mankind over a period of time. There are generally said to be 7 dispensations.