dis·​ar·​ray | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈrā How to pronounce disarray (audio) \

Definition of disarray

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a lack of order or sequence : confusion, disorder the room was in disarray … the disarray of paper in the In-Out basket …— Jackie Weger
2 : disorderly dress : dishabille


disarrayed; disarraying; disarrays

Definition of disarray (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to throw into disorder The discarded magazines and newspapers, the layers of dust and disarrayed rugs …— Gloria Naylor

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Examples of disarray in a Sentence

Noun The room was in disarray. The company has fallen into complete disarray. Verb he had accidentally disarrayed his brother's CDs, leaving a telltale sign of borrowing without permission
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And Democrats were plunged into disarray a day before the president's speech when technical glitches in Iowa caused a delay in results and prompted the party's presidential candidates to abandon the state without knowing who had won the caucuses. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "President Trump sees jump in poll numbers ahead of prime-time speech - live State of the Union updates," 4 Feb. 2020 The recycling market was thrown into disarray in January 2018 when China enacted a policy banning the import of most plastics. Natalie Rademacher, Twin Cities, "‘When in doubt, throw it out.’ A struggling market spurs drive for better recycling.," 9 Dec. 2019 But the program was in disarray, the result of a disastrous five-year run under Wagner that included widespread player discontent, more than 15 transfers and accusations of abuse and intimidation. oregonlive, "Women’s Basketball Civil War: Oregon, Oregon State rivalry has never been bigger, more popular or more fiercely contested," 23 Jan. 2020 Two years since one of the nation’s blue-blood programs was in disarray and all but forgotten, No. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "No. 7 Gators are back in the national spotlight heading to No. 5 LSU, plan on staying there," 9 Oct. 2019 The Dolphins have never lost to the Redskins at home and the streak has a decent shot to survive Sunday with also-winless Washington in disarray and coach Jay Gruden having been fired on Monday. Keven Lerner, sun-sentinel.com, "Staff predictions: Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Redskins," 8 Oct. 2019 The disarray at the VA created a quandary for Trump, who repeatedly vowed during the 2016 campaign to improve veterans' services, especially for the generation who fought in the post-Sept. David S. Cloud, latimes.com, "Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin fired in latest White House shake-up," 28 Mar. 2018 Silence from executives amid reports Cryan successor sought Candidates spurn Achleitner in CEO search, reports say The silence all day spoke volumes about the disarray at the top of Deutsche Bank AG, say insiders and shareholders. Bloomberg.com, "The Disarray at the Top of Deutsche Bank," 27 Mar. 2018 Today, with the Socialists in disarray, France’s dominant parties are instead Mr. Macron’s La République en Marche and the far-right National Rally of Marine Le Pen. New York Times, "A New Home for French Socialists, on Paris’s Periphery," 12 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In this one, the first of a series published from 1935 to 1961, readers are introduced to a nervous Londoner named Pongo Twistleton, whose orderly life is disarrayed by the visit of his peremptory and mischievous uncle Fred from the country. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Surprise Lessons From John Lithgow’s ‘Stories by Heart’," 11 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disarray.' 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 disarray


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disarray

Verb and Noun

Middle English disarayen, from Anglo-French desaraier, from des- dis- + arraier to array

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Time Traveler for disarray

Time Traveler

The first known use of disarray was in the 14th century

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Statistics for disarray

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disarray.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarray. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for disarray


How to pronounce disarray (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disarray

: a lack of order : a confused or messy condition


dis·​ar·​ray | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈrā How to pronounce disarray (audio) \

Kids Definition of disarray

: a confused or messy condition The room was in complete disarray.

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More from Merriam-Webster on disarray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disarray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disarray

Spanish Central: Translation of disarray

Nglish: Translation of disarray for Spanish Speakers

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