disarray

1 of 2

noun

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

disarray

2 of 2

verb

disarrayed; disarraying; disarrays

transitive verb

1
: to throw into disorder
The discarded magazines and newspapers, the layers of dust and disarrayed rugs …Gloria Naylor
2

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
President Joe Biden benefited mightily from the 15-ballot display of disarray by House Republicans to settle the usually routine matter of electing one of their fellow partisans to be speaker of the House. Chicago Tribune, 17 Jan. 2023 Democrats actually augmented their majority in the Senate and kept a sufficiently solid minority caucus in the House to raise the stakes of disarray emerging in the narrow GOP majority. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2022 The public finger-pointing has added to a sense of disarray within the Russian war effort. Thomas Gibbons-neff, New York Times, 16 Dec. 2022 The film, which arrives Dec. 2, begins with Harbour’s Santa in a state of disarray. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Nov. 2022 Tensions between the two countries heading into the talks, known as COP27, have fueled a sense of disarray at the summit, according to delegates. Chao Deng And Sha Hua, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2022 This slowing of inflation signals that demand from companies and consumers is being squashed by higher interest rates, but also that supply chains are being repaired after months of disarray. Quartz, 15 Nov. 2022 With battlefield losses mounting in Ukraine and the Russian public simmering over an unpopular military conscription order, Putin’s actions appeared to be less a show of strength than a sign of disarray. Andrew E. Kramer, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Oct. 2022 And the idea of disarray at the U.S-Mexico border also animates those on both sides of the debate. Dallas News, 7 Oct. 2022
Verb
Hybrid data is here to stay, so don’t let data disarray slow innovation or undermine smart business decision making. Ram Venkatesh, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 For much of this summer, staff shortages and a surge of travelers have led to long lines at security and passport control, disarray at baggage claim and crowded terminals in Europe. Jacob Passy, WSJ, 12 July 2022 The hands-off approach in Washington is adding to disarray around the death penalty nationwide as pressure increases in some conservative states to find ways to continue executions amid shortages of the lethal-injection drugs. Michael Tarm, Anchorage Daily News, 18 June 2021 Eslam Negm is no stranger to disarray on the Suez Canal. NBC News, 2 Apr. 2021 Culley assumes a tough challenge of changing the culture of a Texans franchise that in the last year has gone from playoff squad to disarray. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2021 The economic benefits are nothing compared to disarray and division within NATO. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2020 Naird’s situation is of a man with ramrod-straight posture prostrated and disarrayed at many odd angles. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, 28 May 2020 Large or small, the surface had to appear elegantly disarrayed. Julie Lasky, New York Times, 11 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English disaraye, disaray "disorder, broken military formation," borrowed from Anglo-French dissairay, noun derivative of desaraier "to mishandle, throw into disorder" — more at disarray entry 2

Verb

Middle English disarraien "to break up (a military formation), throw into disorder," borrowed from Anglo-French desaraier "to mishandle, throw into disorder," from des- dis- + arraier, arreyer, aroier "to arrange, order, marshal, equip, attire" — more at array entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near disarray

Cite this Entry

“Disarray.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disarray. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

disarray

1 of 2 noun
dis·​ar·​ray ˌdis-ə-ˈrā How to pronounce disarray (audio)
1
: a lack of order : confusion, disorder
the room was in disarray
2
: disorderly dress

disarray

2 of 2 verb
: to throw into disorder

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