dis·​en·​gage | \ ˌdis-in-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 \ ˌdis-​in-​ˈgāj-​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

January 2016 West Air Sweden Flight 294, a Canadair CRJ-200 cargo jet, was en route to Tromso, Norway, when an alarm klaxon went off and the autopilot disengaged. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "4 Times Before the Boeing 737 Max 8 That Plane Automation Software Went Haywire," 18 Mar. 2019 With the Serb seemingly disengaged, Federer needed just 25 minutes to level the match by claiming the second set. Liz Clarke, The Denver Post, "Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in marathon fifth set to win second straight Wimbledon title," 14 July 2019 For those who may question the safety of such a project, the company released a video showing one of the trucks navigating its way through a major storm without disengaging its self-driving system. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "U.S. Postal Service Testing Mail Transport in Self-Driving Semi Trucks," 24 May 2019 Act polite but disengaged with each other in front of coworkers. Kimberly Goad, Marie Claire, "I Started Dating Someone at Work. Then I Became His Boss.," 8 Aug. 2019 For all these reasons, voters would have a reason to turn out rather than disengage. Steve Mulroy, The New Republic, "To Beat the Gerrymander, Think Outside the Lines," 8 July 2019 His decision to disengage was also, particularly now, the height of irresponsibility, an abdication of that most basic duty of citizenship: staying informed. Christopher Beha, Harper's magazine, "Winning the Peace," 10 May 2019 Police found Elifritz's family was safe and decided to leave Elifritz alone, disengaging and walking away. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Portland police identify 7 officers, 1 sheriff's deputy involved in shelter shooting," 10 Apr. 2018 Unfortunately, many parents completely disengage during the challenging teen years. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Parents want passive son-in-law to step up," 17 July 2019

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

3 Oct 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

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