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 If with a group, people are advised to ambush the shooter and use makeshift weapons such as chairs, scissors, fire extinguishers, books-anything that can distract and disarm the shooter. Kulsoom Khan, chicagotribune.com, "Niles police give public tips to survive an active shooter event," 16 Sep. 2019 The chief said the gunman may have disarmed the officer and shot him with his own firearm. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "HPD officer recovering after being shot; suspect dead," 13 Sep. 2019 Turf Moor was also the scene where the Reds were beaten 2-0 in 2016, a mere week after a disarming 4-3 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates. SI.com, "Burnley 0-3 Liverpool: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Dominant Reds Smash Clarets at Turf Moor," 31 Aug. 2019 The suspect’s silver Mercedes was tracked to the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store in Santa Ana, where a security guard was disarmed and stabbed to death, Whitney said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "4 dead, 2 wounded in Orange County stabbings," 7 Aug. 2019 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

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

27 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Disarm.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarms. Accessed 22 November 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

Comments on disarm

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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