dissociate

verb
dis·​so·​ci·​ate | \ (ˌ)di-ˈsō-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce dissociate (audio) , -sē-\
dissociated; dissociating

Definition of dissociate

transitive verb

1 : to separate from association or union with another attempts to dissociate herself from her past
2 : disunite specifically : to subject to chemical dissociation

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo dissociation
2 : to mutate especially reversibly

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Did You Know?

Dissociate and its synonym "disassociate" can both mean "to separate from association or union with another." "Associate" is from Latin ad-, meaning "to," and sociare, meaning "to join." Dis- means "do the opposite of." So both "dissociate" and "disassociate" indicate severing that which is united, but some commentators argue that "disassociate" is illogical because it indicates separating and uniting simultaneously. "Dissociate" is slightly older, dating from 1582; "disassociate" dates from 1603. "Dissociate" is recommended by a number of commentators on the ground that it is shorter, which it is by a grand total of two letters-not the firmest ground for an endorsement. Both words are in current good use, but "disassociate" is used more often in the U.S.

Examples of dissociate in a Sentence

The director has tried to dissociate himself from his earlier films. Why is the organization choosing to dissociate itself from its founder?

Recent Examples on the Web

Trump has his own long personal history with Epstein, but has dissociated himself from the wealthy hedge fund manager, saying this week the two had a falling out 15 or so years ago and haven’t spoken since. Richard Lardner, BostonGlobe.com, "Labor Secretary Acosta defends handling of Epstein case," 10 July 2019 Zane Lowe, Yorke spoke of the ways in which technology allows us to dissociate from reality and, therefore, avoid accountability. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Thom Yorke’s “Anima” Is His Best Solo Album," 28 June 2019 Just as Andy furiously silk-screened, taped, filmed, and collected, editing his reality and keeping the world at bay, we scroll, swipe, and recharge ad infinitum, and reality becomes ever more dissociated from materiality. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 2018 Triggers cause charged emotional responses, where survivors of abuse may feel altered, may get extremely angry, cry, or withdraw and dissociate. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "What You Should Know About Dating a Domestic Abuse Survivor," 26 Oct. 2018 The clan of six is both close-knit and dissociated by the privacy of their individual obsessions. Lisa Russ Spaar, New York Times, "A Trove of Continental Fiction Explores Loss," 5 Jan. 2018 To dissociate themselves from the chancellor’s decision to keep Germany’s borders open during the refugee crisis, the Bavarians are pushing her to the brink. The Economist, "The politics of migration in Germany," 21 June 2018 Walmart and Dick’s acted after a number of major companies moved last week to dissociate themselves from the N.R.A. Hertz car rental, MetLife insurance and Delta Air Lines, among others, publicly ended their relationships with the organization. Julie Creswell And Michael Corkery, New York Times, "Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21," 28 Feb. 2018 The question is—is William ending his project too late? Also inhabiting this muddled world of semi-human and semi-host is Bernard, whose brain (aka control unit) is damaged, causing him to become dissociated and increasingly robotic. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 8: The Great Ghost Nation Mystery," 11 June 2018

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

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dissociate

Latin dissociatus, past participle of dissociare, from dis- + sociare to join, from socius companion — more at social

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Statistics for dissociate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dissociate

The first known use of dissociate was in 1582

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More Definitions for dissociate

dissociate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dissociate

: to end your relationship with or connection to someone or something : to separate (yourself) from someone or something

dissociate

verb
dis·​so·​ci·​ate | \ (ˈ)dis-ˈō-s(h)ē-ˌāt How to pronounce dissociate (audio) \
dissociated; dissociating

Medical Definition of dissociate

transitive verb

: to subject to chemical dissociation

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo dissociation
2 : to mutate especially reversibly

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More from Merriam-Webster on dissociate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dissociate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dissociate

Spanish Central: Translation of dissociate

Nglish: Translation of dissociate for Spanish Speakers

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