Definition of dissociate
- attempts to dissociate herself from her past
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The director has tried to dissociate himself from his earlier films.
Why is the organization choosing to dissociate itself from its founder?
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.
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.
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to lessen the seriousness or strength of
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