dis·​en·​gage ˌdis-in-ˈgāj How to pronounce disengage (audio)
disengaged; disengaging; disengages

transitive verb

: to release from something that engages or involves

intransitive verb

: to release or detach oneself : withdraw
disengagement 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Another viral video shows the actor seemingly disengaged during a sit-down interview. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 5 June 2024 Kendi was disengaged for most of high school, as concerned with his clothes as his grades. Rachel Poser January Lavoy Krish Seenivasan David Mason, New York Times, 4 June 2024 He's made some headlines for appearing disengaged, or even falling asleep, in court. Tia Yang, ABC News, 28 May 2024 The report said that a clutch disengaged and then reengaged, damaging the aircraft’s transmission and causing engine failure. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for disengage 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disengage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of disengage was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near disengage

Cite this Entry

“Disengage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disengage. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​en·​gage ˌdis-ᵊn-ˈgāj How to pronounce disengage (audio)
: to free or release from an engagement, entanglement, or burden
disengage an automobile clutch
disengagement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disengage

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