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

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 How to pronounce disengagement (audio) \ 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 manufacturer provided a safety bulletin to airlines about disengaging the feature prior to the crash, and is currently facing lawsuits from some of the victims' families. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Authorities Find Cockpit Voice Recorder of Crashed Lion Air Flight 610," 14 Jan. 2019 On a running play on first-and-10 from the Minnesota 33 late in the second quarter Friday, Will Dissly locked on to Viking defensive end Brian Robison and pushed and pushed and pushed again until the two finally disengaged at about the 27. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Pete Carroll says Seahawks rookie tight end Will Dissly turning into ‘exactly what we hoped for’," 28 Aug. 2018 And after six seconds, the system will disengage and begin to slow down. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "George Hotz is on a hacker crusade against the ‘scam’ of self-driving cars," 13 July 2018 Experts told me they don’t really see a way for the US to truly, fully disengage. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Here’s why Trump threatened to pull out of a 144-year-old postal treaty," 19 Oct. 2018 While the helplessness of loss can discourage some or lead them to ultimately disengaging from society altogether, some — like Stevante — are driven toward pursuing substantive sociopolitical change. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "Stevante Clark is Running for Mayor of Sacramento," 3 Jan. 2019 Weaknesses: Lacks ideal height and arm length to remain outside, an issue that did show up on tape with longer defenders able to disengage quickly (Notre Dame-2016). cleveland.com, "Austin Corbett: Get to know the Browns' No. 33 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft," 27 Apr. 2018 Reporters, authors need to disengage emotionally from Trump and stick to the facts as much as possible. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Q&A with Bob Woodward: Trump’s gambling presidency is ‘a national emergency’," 27 Nov. 2018 Unclick your seat belt or open the car door, and the system disengages. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "George Hotz is on a hacker crusade against the ‘scam’ of self-driving cars," 13 July 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

21 Feb 2019

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 reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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