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

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 The unanimous council vote sent a powerful message to short-term rental platforms that have been criticized for being disengaged from city enforcement efforts. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "New Orleans City Council issues temporary ban on most short-term rental permits," 24 May 2018 Forté, 55, said he'd never really disengaged from police work. Bill Turque, kansascity, "Interim sheriff Forté meets, greets and dodges questions about Jackson County jail | The Kansas City Star," 12 May 2018 The Clarity will disengage the engine and operate on battery power alone, letting the propulsion motor drive the wheels. Eric Adams, WIRED, "The Crazy, Complicated Engineering Inside Honda's New Clarity Hybrid," 27 Apr. 2018 First, someone might disengage from an extremist group for family. Julie Chernov Hwang, Washington Post, "New research shows why terrorists quit terrorism," 12 July 2018 In the case of the Dodge Journey driver, the cruise control wouldn’t disengage after being set at 70 miles per hour, according to a complaint filed in March with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "Fiat Chrysler Recalls 5.3 Million Vehicles for Cruise Control Software Glitch," 25 May 2018 Even in many counties where the unions were active, most members were disengaged. New York Times, "Can Weak Unions Get Teachers More Money?," 5 May 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

19 Sep 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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