dis·​en·​gage | \ˌdis-ᵊn-ˈgāj \

Definition of disengage 

transitive verb

: to release from something that engages or involves

intransitive verb

: to release or detach oneself : withdraw

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Other Words from disengage

disengagement \-​mənt \ noun

Examples of disengage in a Sentence

The two dancers moved together in a series of quick movements before disengaging and leaping apart. Put the car in gear, and then slowly disengage the clutch while pressing on the gas pedal. If there is a malfunction, the gears will automatically disengage.
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Recent Examples on the Web

No wonder, Democrats say, that many voters are disengaged. Andrew Rice, Daily Intelligencer, "Can a Democrat Ever Win in Texas?," 10 July 2018 Macron is expected to confront Trump on his plans to disengage from the Syrian war, his denial of the threat of climate change, his moves to slap tariffs on key European exports and his desire to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Is Trump and Macron’s meeting a showdown over the West?," 23 Apr. 2018 And last week, Wheeler told the demonstrators to peacefully disengage for their own safety. Fox News, "Ingraham: The defenders of lawlessness," 2 Aug. 2018 Teachers were expected to take action: to talk to a student perceived to be disengaged, for example, or overly moody. Don Lee, latimes.com, "At this Chinese school, Big Brother was watching students — and charting every smile or frown," 30 June 2018 This wasn’t a simple case of prequel fatigue — people had a wide variety of reasons to be disengaged, many of them very personal. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Question Club: Where should Star Wars go after Solo’s box-office disappointment?," 1 June 2018 Last week, Fiat Chrysler recalled 4.8 million vehicles to fix a software glitch that could prevent a driver from disengaging cruise control. Russ Mitchell, latimes.com, "Consumer Reports embraces Tesla's Model 3, recommending the car after Tesla fixes brake issue," 30 May 2018 The officer then addressed the driver of the van, Gasper, who had trouble with engaging and disengaging the car brake. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pewaukee man admits driving after taking morphine, gets charged with 9th OWI," 29 June 2018 The debate over privacy can leave consumers feeling torn between two bad options: disengage with the virtual world and maintain our anonymity or engage with the Internet and put our identity, finances, safety and perhaps even our democracy at risk. Peter Holley, Washington Post, "Privacy as a product: The argument for trading your personal data for a cheaper car," 26 June 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for disengage

French désengager, from Middle French, from des- dis- + engager to engage

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Statistics for disengage

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disengage

The first known use of disengage was in 1611

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More Definitions for disengage



English Language Learners Definition of disengage

: to separate from someone or something

: to stop being involved with a person or group : to stop taking part in something

: to move (a mechanism or part of a machine) so that it no longer fits into another part

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Comments on disengage

What made you want to look up disengage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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