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 British Transport Police confirmed on Saturday that one of the bystanders, who had disarmed Khan of one of two knives he is believed to have strapped onto his hand, was a plain clothes officer. Tara John, Vasco Cotovio And Lauren Kent, CNN, "Acts of heroism emerge after London terror attack," 30 Nov. 2019 An Oregon prosecutor has released intense video of a high school football coach who disarms and then hugs a student wielding a shotgun at a Portland school. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Oregon coach Keanon Lowe takes gun from high school student and hugs him in viral video," 20 Oct. 2019 Of the more than 5,200 fighters who are disarming, some 800 are coming down from their camp on Mount Gorongosa and register for employment at the wildlife park. Washington Post, "Mozambique’s last rebel fighters finally lay down their arms," 2 Aug. 2019 The training, held in a warehouse that looks like a school but also functions as a shooting range, showed teachers how to disarm a gunman, where to shoot on the body and how to properly aim and unload a firearm. Fox News, "Utah teachers attend firearms drills to prepare for active shooters," 6 July 2019 Police credit restaurant patron James Shaw Jr. with disarming the gunman and averting more bloodshed. Time, "Tennessee Waffle House Reopens Days After Massacre, Pledging a Month's Proceeds to Victims' Families," 25 Apr. 2018 Police credit restaurant patron James Shaw Jr. with disarming the gunman and averting more bloodshed. CBS News, "Waffle House reopens amid tears and solemn remembrance," 25 Apr. 2018 Its singing character disarms the listener, its haunting last movement trailing off into the ether. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "‘Silenced Voices’: A haunting album with music from those who died in the Holocaust," 19 Nov. 2019 The play begins with a disarming, informative ease, with monologues from academics, artists and everyday citizens on the rules, rituals and fashions — particularly those involving hair styles — by which these different tribes of people live. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Reflections That Sear in a Reborn ‘Fires in the Mirror’," 11 Nov. 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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Disarm.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarmament?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=disarm02. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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

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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