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 China’s attempts to dissociate itself from the origins of the coronavirus outbreak got an apparent boost thanks to an interview given by an Italian doctor to American media. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "An Italian doctor is now key to China’s efforts to sow confusion over the coronavirus’s origins," 29 Mar. 2020 For example, studies of visual perception in patients with blindsight show that the path to conscious perceptual experience can be dissociated from the path to behavior. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, "On the Nature of Fear," 20 Sep. 2019 The droplets can dissociate into hydrogen and oxygen ions, causing charges to build up near the top. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Electric bacteria create currents out of thin—and thick—air," 17 Feb. 2020 With the decision, Disney has signaled its attention to dissociate itself from Fox as Fox News remains a polarizing force. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, "Disney to remove ‘Fox’ from 20th Century film studio name," 17 Jan. 2020 The cult, which dissociated itself from the bloodshed, specializes in street-corner rants against the objects of its hatred: whites, Jews (the only true Jews are black), cops, gays, and any blacks deemed to resemble any of the foregoing. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 19 Dec. 2019 Despite his relationship with Trump and the administration, Gilbert has tried to publicly dissociate himself from the president. cleveland, "How tax breaks for the poor helped Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s Detroit real-estate empire," 25 Oct. 2019 Despite his relationship with Trump and the administration, Gilbert has tried to publicly dissociate himself from the president. cleveland, "How tax breaks for the poor helped Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s Detroit real-estate empire," 25 Oct. 2019 Kumar was given a 10-year show cause penalty and was dissociated from Missouri athletics. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "NCAA upholds Missouri’s 2019 postseason ban," 26 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for dissociate

Time Traveler

The first known use of dissociate was in 1582

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Last Updated

7 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dissociate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissociate. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for dissociate

dissociate

verb
How to pronounce dissociate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dissociate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dissociate

Spanish Central: Translation of dissociate

Nglish: Translation of dissociate for Spanish Speakers

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