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 This is consistent with the way Abbott has navigated his way through his first five years in office: pandering just enough to pacify the GOP base, while projecting a statesman-like tone frequently enough to disarm the opposition. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Garcia: Abbott gets to play both sides on COVID-19 response," 8 May 2020 Nobody wants to disarm unilaterally in the battle for government favors. Casey B. Mulligan, National Review, "The COVID-19 Plague Considered as a Deregulatory Opportunity," 16 Apr. 2020 The driver was not injured during the altercation and has been booked into the Waukesha County Jail, pending charges of substantial battery, battery to a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and attempting to disarm a peace officer. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two Waukesha County sheriff's deputies were injured by a suspected impaired driver during a traffic stop," 7 Apr. 2020 As town marshal, Virgil Earp was responsible for enforcing the law and wanted to disarm the offenders. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 26 Mar. 2020 For its part, the Palestinian Authority is required to disarm Hamas and other militant resistance groups, and renounce the right of return for its people. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "The Striking Gesture," 27 Apr. 2020 If Hamas wants to remain in power, the group must renounce violence, fully disarm, and accept the existence of the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Time, "How the Trump Administration's Israel-Palestine Peace Plan Will Change the Middle East," 28 Jan. 2020 Hamas and all other militant groups in Gaza must disarm and the territory must be fully demilitarized. Washington Post, "Key points in Trump’s Mideast peace plan," 28 Jan. 2020 But the event has also attracted militias and anti-government groups warning of a conspiracy to disarm law-abiding citizens and of a brewing civil war. NBC News, "Citing threats, Virginia bans weapons from gun-rights rally," 15 Jan. 2020

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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disarm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarm. Accessed 3 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on disarm

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disarm

Spanish Central: Translation of disarm

Nglish: Translation of disarm for Spanish Speakers

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