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

Example Sentences

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 Characters fall in and out of love, marry up, disgrace themselves, disappear for hundreds of pages, die. Charles Arrowsmith, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2022 Yale and Harvard will not disappear from the law school rankings, however. Reuters, NBC News, 17 Nov. 2022 After hiding them for years, the letters mysteriously disappear and get sent to all her crushes, including her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh (Israel Broussard). Stacey Grant, Seventeen, 9 Nov. 2022 In the two photos, Delevingne's eyebrows disappear thanks to the bleach treatment. Hedy Phillips, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2022 At the first hint of sound or movement, the whitetail will disappear. Outside Online, 8 Nov. 2022 Ivory soap’s longevity flies in the face of a notoriously fickle market for personal beauty products where new trends can appear and disappear in a flash. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 24 Sep. 2022 Now, at age 42, Ms. Ricci is playing Misty Quigley, a terrifying nurse who owns a pet parrot named Caligula and knows how to disappear a body. New York Times, 25 June 2022 Whether chemical or mineral, many sunscreens are known to not completely disappear on deeper tones even after they're rubbed in. Madge Maril, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 June 2022 See More

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

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 8 Dec. 2022.

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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