dis·​abuse | \ˌdis-ə-ˈbyüz \

Definition of disabuse 

transitive verb

: to free from error, misconception, or fallacy (see fallacy sense 1a) was quickly disabused of the idea that anything had changed

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Did You Know?

We know the verb "abuse" as a word meaning "to misuse," "to mistreat," or "to revile." But when "disabuse" first appeared in the early 17th century, there was a sense of "abuse," now obsolete, that meant "to deceive." Sir Francis Bacon used that sense, for example, when he wrote in 1605, "You are much abused if you think your virtue can withstand the King's power." The prefix dis- has the sense of undoing the effect of a verb, so it's not surprising that disabuse means "to undeceive." English speakers didn't come up with the idea of joining "dis-" to "abuse" all on their own, however. It was the French who first appended their prefix "dés-" to their verb "abuser." English "disabuse" is modeled after French "désabuser."

Examples of disabuse in a Sentence

let me disabuse you of your foolish notions about married life

Recent Examples on the Web

Bocanegra isn't trying to disabuse herself of false illusions so much as take in the cultural contradictions. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the farmhouse next door, and unexpected connections in between," 16 Apr. 2018 These leaders have now been clearly disabused of that logic. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Foreign critics of Trump’s travel ban face a new foe: The Supreme Court," 27 June 2018 Diana Gordon is here to disabuse him of both notions. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "‘A cataclysmic wake-up call’: Can more candor win back support for animal research?," 26 June 2018 Her performance quickly disabuses you of such notions. Mary H.k. Choi, The Cut, "Jessica Williams Is Ready to Claim What’s Hers," 4 June 2018 If the president had hoped that his choice of Mr Cottarella would reassure capital markets, he was swiftly disabused. The Economist, "Italy’s bond yields rise as it heads for another election," 29 May 2018 Hurston also had to disabuse herself of the notion that whites were the only ones complicit in the transatlantic slave trade after hearing Kossula’s story. Angela Helm, The Root, "Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon Is a One in a Million Tale From the Last Known Survivor of the Transatlantic Slave Trade," 10 May 2018 What’s your responsibility to disabuse her of those ideas? Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Roseanne revival, and the argument over how TV depicts Trump supporters, explained," 30 Mar. 2018 In Design for Good, with a forward written by Melina Gates, the TED Prize strategist disabuses us of the notion that design is only a luxury concept. Fortune, "Design Needs to Address Some of the World's Biggest Problems, Says This Author and Architect," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disabuse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disabuse

1669, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disabuse

French désabuser, from dés- dis- + abuser to abuse

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The first known use of disabuse was in 1669

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English Language Learners Definition of disabuse

: to show or convince (someone) that a belief is incorrect

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Comments on disabuse

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by force of circumstances

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