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




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

All of the homicides have taken place outside the 26 reintegration camps where the guerrillas went to disarm and receive vocational training and counseling — and where hundreds of government soldiers protect the considerable numbers who remain. Chris Kraul, latimes.com, "Killings of demobilized rebels threaten peace process in Colombia," 5 June 2018 The shooting led to protests on the campus and demands that the campus police be disarmed. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "Testimony in police shooting reveals chaotic scene," 9 Oct. 2018 Joshua, 85-pounds to Medei’s 225, attacked from behind after his mother was disarmed, Medei testified at his 2012 hearing. Rafael Olmeda, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Nine years later, no trial date for Hollywood ex-boxer who killed wife and stepson," 22 June 2018 Some families have accused guards of starting the fire after one was disarmed and stabbed by a prisoner during a surprise early morning search of cells. Mery Mogollon, latimes.com, "Most of the dead have been identified. But many questions remain about Venezuela's prison riot and fire," 30 Mar. 2018 Power plays can be disarmed and detonated through decisive wins. Sam Donnellon, Philly.com, "Claude Giroux, Flyers formidable in faceoff circle," 16 Mar. 2018 This is to confirm that the emergency escape slides attached to the doors have been disarmed. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Former Pilot Explains 10 “Code Words” Passengers Don’t Understand," 20 Feb. 2018 That ability to neutralize and disarm her critics is one of Abrams’s superpowers. Brittney Cooper, Marie Claire, "Stacey Abrams Is Just Getting Started," 11 Mar. 2019 Since genetic material tends to get shared between bacteria in chunks, and many genes are needed to disarm antibiotics, pathogens would be unlikely to acquire the whole package. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Bacteria That Eat Drugs Could Help Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis," 8 Nov. 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

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for disarm

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

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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

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

Comments on disarm

What made you want to look up disarm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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