dis·​ap·​pear ˌdis-ə-ˈpir How to pronounce disappear (audio)
disappeared; disappearing; disappears

intransitive verb

: to pass from view
The moon disappeared behind a cloud.
: to cease to be : pass out of existence or notice
dinosaurs disappeared from the earth
My keys seem to have disappeared again.

transitive verb

: to cause (someone or something) to disappear:
: to abduct and kill or imprison (someone, such as a political dissident) while withholding information about the person's fate
Her son was disappeared during Argentina's so-called 'Dirty War.'Associated Press
Under his repressive regime, tens of thousands of Chileans were "disappeared," tortured and killed; hundreds of thousands were forced into exile.Mandalit del Barco
Fearing that he would be kidnapped or "disappeared" in Syria under some false pretext, Mr. Omar made a video, which he posted on YouTube, to establish that he had defected.Dan Bilefsky
When early efforts of containment failed, journalists and doctors who spoke out against the threat were disappeared, these sources said.Bret Baier and Nick Givas
Orwell's novel was published in 1949 in the wake of World War II, when both fascism and socialism seemed to loom as threats to democracy, and it imagines a secretive regime that surveils its people and polices even their thoughts, disappearing anyone who rebels against the order.Jeva Lange
: to cause (something) to pass out of existence, possession, or view
VICE has disappeared the post from its Web site.Jenna Sauers
The … waitress disappears the debris from the floor …Catherine Cleary
After class, while waiting for Halmoni to pick me up, I devoured as many of those rainbow morsels as I could, as if disappearing them might also disappear my shame.Jennifer Hope Choi
He shares his opinion that based on his early findings, the bullets didn't come from Locke's gun, which is important because, as Lucca Quinn points out, Peter would have no reason to disappear the evidence if it exonerated Locke.Alexis Rhiannon
disappearance noun

Examples of disappear in a Sentence

The two men disappeared around the corner. The dinosaurs disappeared millions of years ago. These problems won't just disappear by themselves. He disappeared without a trace two years ago. The speaker suddenly disappeared just before the beginning of the ceremony.
Recent Examples on the Web Since glaciers disappeared from North America, the loss of ice on top of the continent has been slowly causing the East Coast to sink. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 Sugar’s latest client is veteran film producer Jonathan Siegel (James Cromwell), whose granddaughter Olivia (Sydney Chandler) has disappeared without a trace. Alison Herman, Variety, 5 Apr. 2024 While only a sliver of Michigan will be in the path of totality during Monday's solar eclipse, there is still plenty to see and experience outside those boundaries: The eerie light as the sun disappears behind the moon, a dip in temperature, changes in the wind, maybe even strange animal behaviors. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, 4 Apr. 2024 When Qaddafi’s revolutionary committees come calling, the fathers disappear. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 As if the sun disappearing midday wasn’t spooky enough, NASA intends to add multiple streaks of fire to parts of the East Coast sky during the April 8 solar eclipse. Mark Price, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 The attorney also sought to explain away the new carpeting and bank account activity after Buckner disappeared, saying the couple shared their financial accounts. Jakob Rodgers, The Mercury News, 3 Apr. 2024 An Andy Warhol screenprint of the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong has mysteriously disappeared from a community college in California. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 Bounding out from their cages after long plane flights, the first five disappeared into the forest as Gov. Jared Polis, wildlife officials, biologists and journalists looked on. Jesse Bedayn, Fortune, 3 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disappear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disappear was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near disappear

Cite this Entry

“Disappear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disappear. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​ap·​pear ˌdis-ə-ˈpi(ə)r How to pronounce disappear (audio)
: to cease to be visible : pass out of sight : vanish
the moon disappeared behind a cloud
: to cease to be
the dinosaur disappeared ages ago
disappearance noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disappear

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