dis·​arm | \ dis-ˈärm, 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 \ -​ˈär-​mə-​mənt \ noun
disarmer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disarm




arm, militarize

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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

Another patron, seeing the gun, disarmed Szepi, officials said. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago cop arrested on suspicion of pulling a gun outside Rosemont tavern," 24 June 2018 Trump had a phone call with James Shaw Jr. on Monday morning, weeks after Shaw was able to ambush and disarm Travis Reinking. Paula Rogo, Essence.com, "Trump Finally Called Waffle House Shooting Hero James Shaw Jr. To Thank Him," 15 May 2018 A half dozen armed groups in Central African Republic are participating in a national program and the government will begin disarming some groups in the west by the end of the year, the U.N. envoy for the troubled African country said Tuesday. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "UN envoy says armed groups in CAR will start disarming soon," 23 Oct. 2018 While North Korea honored its promise to return the remains of fallen U.S. soldiers during the Korean War, there have been troubling reports that Pyongyang will never truly disarm. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "North Korea possibly constructing new ICBMs, missile program moving on 'business as usual,' official says," 2 Oct. 2018 Since taking office, Masisi has disarmed the country's anti-poaching unit, which used to be equipped with military-grade hardware, and supported the parliament's decision to lift a ban on elephant hunting for sport, NPR reports. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "Dozens of Killed Elephants Found Near Botswana's Okavango Delta," 4 Sep. 2018 The blockade has ravaged Gaza’s economy, and Israel refuses to lift it unless Hamas disarms, a demand rejected by militant group, which is pledged to Israel’s destruction. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israeli Cabinet minister: Gaza leader’s days are numbered," 21 Nov. 2018 More high-level negotiations over thorny issues like the pace of North Korea’s denuclearization and a verification process to certify that the North has disarmed are slated to begin as early as next month. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, "Trump Calls Four-Hour Summit ‘Fantastic’," 12 June 2018 An employee who tried unsuccessfully to disarm Vos suffered a half-inch laceration on his hand. Maura Dolan, latimes.com, "Appeals court reinstates suit against Newport Beach for police killing of mentally unstable man," 11 June 2018

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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Statistics for disarm

Last Updated

22 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disarm

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

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on disarm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disarm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disarm

Spanish Central: Translation of disarm

Nglish: Translation of disarm for Spanish Speakers

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