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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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 These star clusters typically live only a short while, then dissociate, and the stars get randomly distributed throughout the galaxy. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 10 June 2021 The change, which comes two years after John Marshall Law School merged with UIC to establish the first public law school in Chicago, is meant to dissociate the school from the worst parts of Marshall's biography. Star Tribune, 27 May 2021 Ultimately, legislators decided this year that eliminating the song without replacing it was the cleanest way to dissociate the state from it. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, 6 May 2021 The freeze response produces pain-numbing endorphins and helps the animal (and us humans) psychologically detach or dissociate from the terror. Meryl Davids Landau, Good Housekeeping, 7 May 2021 The opposing drives toward gentility and aggression make a continuous narrative impossible, forcing him to dissociate at the critical moment. Benjamin Nugent, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 People have been able to dissociate or hide in virtual meetings - turning off their camera, muting themselves - and are out of practice in traditional human engagement. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Mar. 2021 Everybody likes to dissociate with a simulation game every now and then—The Sims, Stardew Valley, Minecraft, American Truck Simulator. Wired Staff, Wired, 4 Feb. 2021 What’s unprecedented about this crisis is the fact that our ability and desire to dissociate from our painful reality may have hurt our response to it. Frank Shyong Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 28 Dec. 2020

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

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The first known use of dissociate was in 1582

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Dictionary Entries Near dissociate

dissocial

dissociate

dissociation

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Statistics for dissociate

Last Updated

27 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissociate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissociate. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on dissociate

Nglish: Translation of dissociate for Spanish Speakers

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