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 Everybody likes to dissociate with a simulation game every now and then—The Sims, Stardew Valley, Minecraft, American Truck Simulator. Wired Staff, Wired, "The Video Games We’re Most Looking Forward to in 2021," 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, "The surreality of a “Prohibition"-style dinner as ICU availability hits zero," 28 Dec. 2020 The select board also tried to dissociate itself from the declaration. Leo Mirani, The New Yorker, "The Great Barrington Declaration Ruffles Locals’ Feathers," 21 Dec. 2020 Joe Biden is clearly determined to dissociate his administration from the previous one, which was characterized by neither moral commitment nor faith in truth. John M. Murphy, The Conversation, "Can Joe Biden win the transition?," 8 Dec. 2020 Trump’s team has recently tried to dissociate itself from the pair but only after they were given a prominent platform in the flailing effort to overturn the presidential election results. Aamer Madhani, Star Tribune, "Trump presses Georgia governor to help subvert election," 5 Dec. 2020 Trump’s team has recently tried to dissociate itself from the pair but only after they were given a prominent platform in the flailing effort to overturn the presidential election results. Bill Barrow, chicagotribune.com, "Trump will hold rally in Georgia to get out vote for Senate races — while simultaneously undermining democratic process," 5 Dec. 2020 Meanwhile, opposition politicians in Britain have urged CDC Group, the British government’s development-finance arm, to dissociate itself from the shutdown by selling its stake in Frontiir, a Burmese internet provider. The Economist, "No time for details Myanmar’s government makes life difficult for Western investors," 3 Oct. 2020 The suit is ongoing, and in April a Minnesota district court dismissed a motion filed by JD to dissociate the company's name from the case against its founder. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "JD.com’s $3.9 billion Hong Kong IPO sees another Chinese giant diversify away from U.S. markets," 17 June 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of dissociate was in 1582

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Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dissociate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissociate. Accessed 5 Mar. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dissociate

Nglish: Translation of dissociate for Spanish Speakers

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