dissociate

verb
dis·so·ci·ate | \(ˌ)di-ˈsō-shē-ˌāt, -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

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 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 6: Back to Life," 28 May 2018 But with the hopeful rebuild must come consistency, commitment and longevity; three words that have been dissociated with the Wearsiders since the days of Peter Reid. SI.com, "FanView: What Sunderland Must Address to Emulate the Rokermen of 1988 Following Relegation," 23 Apr. 2018 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 4: More Human Than Human," 14 May 2018 Then ultraviolet radiation dissociated the water vapor in the upper Venusian atmosphere, turning it into molecular oxygen and hydrogen. Scott Denning, Washington Post, "May the 4th be with Earth, a perfect planet that’s not too Hoth or Tatooine," 4 May 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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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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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 \
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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