disabuse

verb
dis·​abuse | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈbyüz How to pronounce disabuse (audio) \
disabused; disabusing; disabuses

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 And America’s flaws did not disabuse him of his affectionate embrace of its character, any more than his own flaws did of his self-embrace. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman’ Review: An American Bard’s Early Years," 24 June 2019 But Musk specifically disabused his interlocutor of this notion as well. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk puts kibosh on hopes of refreshed Model S and X vehicles," 9 July 2019 While bolstering the fragile walls, his team was soon disabused of the notion that Pompeii was preserved completely intact there. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The New Treasures of Pompeii," 21 Aug. 2019 If Sheeran is a model for how to embrace success without losing your soul, Jack’s agent, an industry viper named Debra (an amusing Kate McKinnon), is on hand to disabuse him of the notion that the soul even exists. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Yesterday’ imagines a world without the Beatles — and doesn’t make you want to visit," 27 June 2019 If Sheeran is a model for how to embrace success without losing your soul, Jack’s agent, an industry viper named Debra (an amusing Kate McKinnon), is on hand to disabuse him of the notion that the soul even exists. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Yesterday’ imagines a world without the Beatles — and doesn’t make you want to visit," 27 June 2019 But anyone still holding to that Victorian notion should have been disabused of it last week. Libby Locke, WSJ, "The Attack on Kavanaugh Is Un-American," 26 Sep. 2018 Our collective experience with the fruits of deinstitutionalization should disabuse us of their approach. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Against Oregon Public Schools’ ‘Mental-Health Days’," 24 July 2019 If Sheeran is a model for how to embrace success without losing your soul, Jack’s agent, an industry viper named Debra (an amusing Kate McKinnon), is on hand to disabuse him of the notion that the soul even exists. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Yesterday’ imagines a world without the Beatles — and doesn’t make you want to visit," 27 June 2019

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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Statistics for disabuse

Last Updated

29 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for disabuse

The first known use of disabuse was in 1669

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More Definitions for disabuse

disabuse

verb
How to pronounce disabuse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disabuse

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on disabuse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disabuse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disabuse

Spanish Central: Translation of disabuse

Nglish: Translation of disabuse for Spanish Speakers

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