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

Keep scrolling for more

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 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. Jeff Ernsthausen, ProPublica, "How a Tax Break to Help the Poor Went to NBA Owner Dan Gilbert," 24 Oct. 2019 The interaction between Bush and the Trojans last Friday highlighted the absurdity of forcing USC to continue to dissociate itself from Bush. Los Angeles Times, "Column: It’s time for NCAA to free Reggie Bush and USC," 23 Sep. 2019 His handling of foreign affairs mirrors a defining principle of Cambiemos: that Argentina’s welfare cannot be dissociated from the ebbs and flows of international markets. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Argentina Considers a Return to Peronism," 28 Aug. 2019 Saeed’s spokesman, Nadim Awan, denounced the arrest and said the cleric dissociated himself from Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2001 and has had no links with the organization since then, the Associated Press reported. Jon Gerberg, Washington Post, "Pakistan arrests top militant figure ahead of prime minister’s visit to U.S.," 17 July 2019 Trump has his own long personal history with Epstein, but has dissociated himself from the wealthy hedge fund manager, saying this week the two had a falling out 15 or so years ago and haven't spoken since. Richard Lardner, chicagotribune.com, "Facing calls for resignation, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta defends secret 2008 plea deal in Jeffrey Epstein case," 10 July 2019 Since then, even more Americans have chosen to dissociate from the two parties. Peter Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "Shunning united fronts, political parties wage public internal wars," 13 July 2019 Trump’s effort to dissociate himself from his own supporters reflected the misgivings of his allies, who have flooded the upper echelons of his team with expressions of concern in the wake of a rally that veered into nativist territory. Julie Hirschfeld Davis, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump disavows ‘send her back’ chant as Republicans fret over ugly phrase," 18 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dissociate

Time Traveler for dissociate

Time Traveler

The first known use of dissociate was in 1582

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about dissociate

Statistics for dissociate

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dissociate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dissociating. Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on dissociate

What made you want to look up dissociate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!