dis·​lo·​cate | \ ˈdis-lō-ˌkāt How to pronounce dislocate (audio) , -lə-; (ˌ)dis-ˈlō- How to pronounce dislocate (audio) \
dislocated; dislocating; dislocates

Definition of dislocate

transitive verb

1 : to put out of place specifically : to displace (a bone) from normal connections with another bone
2 : to force a change in the usual status, relationship, or order of : disrupt

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Examples of dislocate in a Sentence

She fell and dislocated her shoulder. The new hotel will dislocate several businesses. Thousands of workers have been dislocated by the latest economic crisis.
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Recent Examples on the Web The pain is so hard, so difficult that a lot of families just want to dislocate themselves from the person that’s addicted. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, "Documentary 'Macho: The Hector Camacho Story' shows peaks of fame and perils of addiction," 4 Dec. 2020 Much like the grocery store at night where in drag, the lights of we dislocate. Francine J. Harris, The New York Review of Books, "It is a Choice (because Kanye)," 6 July 2020 Years of torture Johnson had broken his right arm, dislocated his left shoulder, and injured his back ejecting. Nick Swartsell, Dallas News, "Longtime Texas congressman Sam Johnson, POW in Vietnam, dies at age 89," 27 May 2020 There was the patient who slipped on her own sweat while doing a plank and dislocated her shoulder, said Meaghan Harwood, clinic director at Boston Sports Medicine. Zoe Greenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Exercise resolutions abound in January — as well as gym injuries," 8 Jan. 2020 Claiborne’s shoulder was dislocated; another passenger was bleeding profusely from a head wound. Nick Tabor, Washington Post, "Can Shane Claiborne’s progressive version of evangelical Christianity catch on with a new generation?," 6 Jan. 2020 Mississippi State players react to Tua's injury (Clarion-Ledger) -- Alabama’s title chances take hit after loss of Tua Tagovailoa (Las Vegas Review-Journal) -- Tua Tagovailoa dislocates hip. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "What they’re saying nationally about Tua Tagovailoa injury," 17 Nov. 2019 Gabbert didn't play in the regular season last year after dislocating his shoulder in Tampa Bay's third preseason game. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign Blaine Gabbert as Tom Brady's backup, per reports," 2 Apr. 2020 Wolfe dislocated his elbow in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Chargers and did not return to the game. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe likely done for the season with elbow dislocation," 2 Dec. 2019

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

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dislocate

Medieval Latin dislocatus, past participle of dislocare, from Latin dis- + locare to locate

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Time Traveler for dislocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of dislocate was in 1601

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Statistics for dislocate

Last Updated

12 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dislocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dislocate. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for dislocate


How to pronounce dislocate (audio) How to pronounce dislocate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dislocate

medical : to move (a bone) out of its normal location or position in a joint
chiefly US, formal : to force (someone or something) to move from a place or position
formal : to cause (a business, system, etc.) to change in some major way : to stop (something) from functioning as it used to function


dis·​lo·​cate | \ ˈdis-lō-ˌkāt How to pronounce dislocate (audio) , dis-ˈlō- \
dislocated; dislocating

Kids Definition of dislocate

: to displace a bone from its normal connections with another bone


transitive verb
dis·​lo·​cate | \ ˈdis-lō-ˌkāt How to pronounce dislocate (audio) , -lə-; (ˈ)dis-ˈlō-ˌkāt How to pronounce dislocate (audio) \
dislocated; dislocating

Medical Definition of dislocate

: to put (a body part) out of order by displacing a bone from its normal connections with another bone he dislocated his shoulder also : to displace (a bone) from normal connections with another bone the humerus was dislocated in the fall

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