dis·​arm | \ dis-ˈärm How to pronounce disarm (audio) , diz-, ˈdis-ˌärm \
disarmed; disarming; disarms

Definition of disarm

transitive verb

1a : to deprive of means, reason, or disposition to be hostile disarmed criticism by admitting her errors
b : to win over
2a : to divest of arms disarm captured troops
b : to deprive of a means of attack or defense disarm a ship
c : to make harmless disarm a bomb

intransitive verb

1 : to lay aside arms
2 : to give up or reduce armed forces

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Other Words from disarm

disarmament \ ˌdis-​ˈär-​mə-​mənt How to pronounce disarm (audio) \ noun
disarmer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disarm



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Examples of disarm in a Sentence

The government has been unsuccessful at disarming the rebels. The terrorists have refused to disarm. It took more than an hour to disarm the bomb.
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Recent Examples on the Web Elandria Charles, a non-profit executive based in New York City, uses truth-telling as a go-to exercise to disarm the overwhelming unease that self-doubt can bring on. NBC News, "3 science-backed techniques to help young women overcome self-doubt," 30 Mar. 2021 What can well-meaning allies and bystanders do to disarm and dismantle microaggressions? Derald Wing Sue, Scientific American, "Microaggressions: Death by a Thousand Cuts," 30 Mar. 2021 In contrast, Iran’s neighbors, Israel and moderate Arab states, are far more likely to support air strikes to disarm Tehran. William R. Graham, National Review, "Iran Probably Already Has the Bomb. Here’s What to Do about It," 19 Mar. 2021 When police determined the device was a real bomb, a special unit from the Iowa State Fire Marshal was called in to disarm it, along with agents from ATF and FBI. Washington Post, "Iowa police find live pipe bomb at polling center: ‘Attempted violence against our democracy’," 3 Mar. 2021 Each time, Swails repeated Wolf’s priorities in a matter-of-fact tone that appeared to disarm some members. Christen Smith, Washington Examiner, "Pennsylvania budget secretary defends spending plan, minimum wage hike," 8 Mar. 2021 In the absence of 400 ICBMs—each of which would need to be separately targeted in a surprise attack—Russia would be able to disarm the U.S. by destroying less than 20 targets. Loren Thompson, Forbes, "No Way Out: Why Nuclear Modernization Is Necessary (In Six Slides)," 24 Feb. 2021 Mohamed Dayri, the former foreign minister for Libya’s eastern government, said in an interview that Libya needs more help from Europe and the United States to pressure Russia and Turkey to depart and get Libya’s militias to disarm. Washington Post, "At the mercy of foreign powers," 25 Feb. 2021 The sheriff said the pastor was armed, but the suspect was able to disarm him. CBS News, "Pastor killed in shooting at Texas church; 1 other person wounded," 3 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disarm.' 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 disarm

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for disarm

Middle English desarmen, literally, to divest of arms, from Anglo-French desarmer, from des- dis- + armer to arm

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Time Traveler for disarm

Time Traveler

The first known use of disarm was in the 15th century

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Statistics for disarm

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disarm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarm. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for disarm



English Language Learners Definition of disarm

: to take weapons from (someone or something)
: to give up weapons
: to make (a bomb, mine, etc.) harmless


dis·​arm | \ dis-ˈärm How to pronounce disarm (audio) \
disarmed; disarming

Kids Definition of disarm

1 : to take weapons from Disarm the prisoner.
2 : to reduce the size and strength of the armed forces of a country
3 : to make harmless He disarmed the bomb.
4 : to end dislike or mistrust : win over a disarming smile

Other Words from disarm

disarmament \ -​ˈär-​mə-​mənt \ noun

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