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 disarmament (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 After repeated verbal commands and the use of standard methods to disarm the inmate, Davis refused to comply. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "How many inmates died in Alabama’s prisons in 2019?," 28 Dec. 2019 One of the suspects raised a handgun prompting the man to attempt to disarm the suspect. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore police: Man held at gunpoint outside of his home, shot in struggle with two suspects," 12 Dec. 2019 The radiant green bursts aren’t just radiant green bursts but in fact demonstrators using laser pointers to disarm police drones. Wired, "Depth of Field: The Searing Colors of Santiago's Revolution," 14 Nov. 2019 The all-purpose reply is designed to disarm oldish people who dispense condescension dressed up as wisdom. Molly Roberts, The Denver Post, "Molly Roberts: OK, boomer. The kids are fighting back.," 7 Nov. 2019 Use your charm to disarm someone's anger and your ideals to forge a path through a complicated problem. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 24, 2019: Aquarius, read poetry; Cancer, to everything there is a season," 24 Oct. 2019 Its lobbyists will try to disarm radical proposals. The Economist, "Silicon Valley and the state gird for war," 3 Oct. 2019 Tesla hoped, through his dramatic demonstration, to disarm the negative publicity. National Geographic, "Edison and Tesla's cutthroat 'Current War' ushered in the electric age," 27 Sep. 2019 One of the proposals being offered by Texas House Democrats is a red flag law, which allows police or family members to petition a court to temporarily disarm someone considered a danger to themselves or someone else. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Why Texas needs a special session on guns," 6 Sep. 2019

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 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disarm.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarm. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for disarm


How to pronounce disarm (audio)

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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disarm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disarm

Spanish Central: Translation of disarm

Nglish: Translation of disarm for Spanish Speakers

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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