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

Like the time David Bloemker dislocated his shoulder. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 That could put pressure on Marquez’ left shoulder, which required surgery in December after it was dislocated several times in 2018. Jim Vertuno, The Seattle Times, "Unbeaten Marquez the ‘king’ of MotoGP Texas race," 12 Apr. 2019 Policy makers and economists knew that some workers would be dislocated by imports from other countries when the U.S. pursued expanded trade with Mexico, China and others in the 1990s. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Retraining Programs Fall Short for Some Workers," 30 Dec. 2018 Help workers dislocated by trade and automation build new skills to remain competitive in today’s job market. James Bacchus, WSJ, "Democrats, Free Trade Is Your Destiny," 3 Dec. 2018 The teenager also tried to push him off of her, dislocating her shoulder in the process, the records show. Ryan Tarinelli, Fox News, "Man charged in teen's kidnapping," 27 July 2018 Then, in 2004, Ms. Kim fell between a stairwell banister, fracturing her right wrist and jaw and dislocating her hip. Alexis Cheung, New York Times, "They Were in Love. They Were the Last to Know.," 25 May 2018 After an unusual vehicle pursuit that at times proceeded at speeds under 5 mph, Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies shattered the window of Harmon’s SUV, shocked him multiple times with Tasers, dragged him to the pavement and dislocated his elbow. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "He was a black man having a diabetic episode. Police 'tased' him and charged him with resisting arrest - and now have to pay $425K," 2 Mar. 2018 Everyone at Winter Park remembers when Bridgewater buckled during an August 2016 practice, tearing his left ACL and dislocating his knee. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs Just Need Someone to Throw Them the Damn Ball," 10 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for dislocate

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for dislocate

The first known use of dislocate was in 1601

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More Definitions for dislocate



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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