dis·​junc·​tion | \dis-ˈjəŋ(k)-shən \

Definition of disjunction 

1 : a sharp cleavage : disunion, separation the disjunction between theory and practice

2 : a compound sentence in logic formed by joining two simple statements by or:

a : inclusive disjunction

b : exclusive disjunction

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Disjunction vs Disconnect

A disjunction may be a mere lack of connection between two things, or a large gulf. There's often a huge disjunction between what people expect from computers and what they know about them, and the disjunction between a star's public image and her actual character may be just as big. We may speak of the disjunction between science and morality, between doing and telling, or between knowing and explaining. In recent years, disjunction seem to have been losing out to a newer synonym, the noun disconnect.

Examples of disjunction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the most striking disjunctions is between the viciousness of the close-quarter fighting and the willingness of both sides to allow military and civilian medics to continue their work. Daniel Todman, WSJ, "‘The Battle of Arnhem’ Review: The Dutch Dead End," 15 Oct. 2018 The video leaves you free to wonder about both the potential contradictions of activist pop and the queasy disjunction between moral concern and capitalist ambition. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Atlanta’ Skips a Grade," 11 May 2018 The disjunction opens up a vast and chilly space through which these characters wander as if lost in a dream. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "Behind the white picket fence, portraits of a jagged loneliness," 13 May 2018 This element of disjunction has become a cliché of postmodern architecture. Kyle Chayka, The New Republic, "From architect to tastemaker, Bjarke Ingels is designing the future.," 2 May 2018 That kind of disjunction harks back to the medium's heyday a century ago, as a Dada vehicle of the politically infused absurd. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "Glitz, glamor, shine and sparkle: the dazzling photomontages of Fay Ray," 24 Apr. 2018 Because photography suggests reality, a photo-collage’s disjunctions of space, place, and proportion are especially surreal. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Taking two approaches to collage," 11 Apr. 2018 The average Destroyer song is lit up frequently by disjunction: the little sparks that pop out when one order of logic gets rammed into another. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "New Sentences: From Destroyer’s ‘Ivory Coast’," 3 Nov. 2017 There’s a strange temporal disjunction at the heart of Jesmyn Ward’s new novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing. Ismail Muhammad, Slate Magazine, "Traumatized Ghosts," 18 Sep. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for disjunction

The first known use of disjunction was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for disjunction



English Language Learners Definition of disjunction

: a lack of connection between things that are related or should be connected


dis·​junc·​tion | \dis-ˈjəŋ(k)-shən \

Medical Definition of disjunction 

: the separation of chromosomes or chromatids during anaphase of mitosis or meiosis

More from Merriam-Webster on disjunction

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disjunction

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about disjunction

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