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

The action signaled Nirenberg’s desire to disarm his conservative critics by embracing a policy proposal from his recent election opponent, Greg Brockhouse. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Podcast: San Antonio mayor shakes up team, rethinks approach," 25 June 2019 But Trump's inner circle knows as clearly as Obama's did that Pyongyang is unlikely to voluntarily disarm unless the economic benefits, along with pressure from China, overwhelm them. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Trump has two strategies to counter nuclear threats. Neither is working," 19 June 2019 Nearly a year after Portland State University public safety officers shot and killed a man near campus, PSU’s student union will attend a board of trustees meeting Thursday to urge the board to disarm campus public safety officers. oregonlive.com, "PSU student union plans to discuss disarming campus police officers at Thursday board meeting," 19 June 2019 For the most part, the candidates made no qualms demonizing the industry and calling for range of measures to disarm it. Justin Worland, Time, "6 Takeaways from the CNN Democratic Climate Change Town Hall Meeting," 5 Sep. 2019 The British police commandant considered disarming them, the Shaw Commission reported, but accepted assurances that the weapons were defensive. Douglas J. Feith, National Review, "The Hebron Riots of 1929: Consequences and Lessons," 27 Aug. 2019 That raises the potential for them to have been disarmed beforehand through red flag laws like those in California and 16 other states. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, "Mass shootings: How often were background checks, assault weapons and red flags a factor?," 25 Aug. 2019 Nothing short of disarming America satisfies @democrats. Maggie Haberman, New York Times, "N.R.A. Gets Results on Gun Laws in One Phone Call With the President," 20 Aug. 2019 Like the original film and the Ant-Man scenes in Civil War, Ant-Man and the Wasp depends heavily on Paul Rudd’s boyish, disarming performance as Scott, who is, after all, not the most unassailable or upright hero. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Ant-Man and the Wasp is a solid improvement on Ant-Man," 6 July 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

13 Oct 2019

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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 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

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