dis·​ap·​pear ˌdis-ə-ˈpir How to pronounce disappear (audio)
disappeared; disappearing; disappears

intransitive verb

: to pass from view
The moon disappeared behind a cloud.
: to cease to be : pass out of existence or notice
dinosaurs disappeared from the earth
My keys seem to have disappeared again.

transitive verb

: to cause (someone or something) to disappear:
: to abduct and kill or imprison (someone, such as a political dissident) while withholding information about the person's fate
Her son was disappeared during Argentina's so-called 'Dirty War.'Associated Press
Under his repressive regime, tens of thousands of Chileans were "disappeared," tortured and killed; hundreds of thousands were forced into exile.Mandalit del Barco
Fearing that he would be kidnapped or "disappeared" in Syria under some false pretext, Mr. Omar made a video, which he posted on YouTube, to establish that he had defected.Dan Bilefsky
When early efforts of containment failed, journalists and doctors who spoke out against the threat were disappeared, these sources said.Bret Baier and Nick Givas
Orwell's novel was published in 1949 in the wake of World War II, when both fascism and socialism seemed to loom as threats to democracy, and it imagines a secretive regime that surveils its people and polices even their thoughts, disappearing anyone who rebels against the order.Jeva Lange
: to cause (something) to pass out of existence, possession, or view
VICE has disappeared the post from its Web site.Jenna Sauers
The … waitress disappears the debris from the floor …Catherine Cleary
After class, while waiting for Halmoni to pick me up, I devoured as many of those rainbow morsels as I could, as if disappearing them might also disappear my shame.Jennifer Hope Choi
He shares his opinion that based on his early findings, the bullets didn't come from Locke's gun, which is important because, as Lucca Quinn points out, Peter would have no reason to disappear the evidence if it exonerated Locke.Alexis Rhiannon
disappearance noun

Examples of disappear in a Sentence

The two men disappeared around the corner. The dinosaurs disappeared millions of years ago. These problems won't just disappear by themselves. He disappeared without a trace two years ago. The speaker suddenly disappeared just before the beginning of the ceremony.
Recent Examples on the Web Festival sessions and workshops take place in riads, restaurants, and conference halls all across Marrakech, marking a new era for a piece of heritage that was once on the brink of disappearing. Shivani Somaiya, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Nov. 2023 San Diego State watched bowl hopes disappear a couple weeks ago when the Aztecs suffered the season’s seventh loss. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 This bra is like a ninja that secretly minimizes your bust, with ultra-thin padding for a disappearing neckline and invisible edges for a clean look. Courtney Leiva, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 Already some players have started to disappear from the practice field. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Case in point: that gigantic tree, which grows and grows, out of all proportion, until its tip disappears out of sight. The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 But by then, Armstrong had deleted her social media accounts and disappeared. Praveena Somasundaram, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 Miriam Arce, a community leader whose father was a fisherman, has a different concern: that the fishing boats from her childhood will disappear, replaced by freighters amid the intensifying competition between the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest economies. Keir Simmons, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 The holiday comedy-drama focuses on a dysfunctional family whose mom disappears on Christmas Eve, and the lengths one daughter must go to bring her family back together again. Sharareh Drury, Variety, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disappear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disappear was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near disappear

Cite this Entry

“Disappear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disappear. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​ap·​pear ˌdis-ə-ˈpi(ə)r How to pronounce disappear (audio)
: to cease to be visible : pass out of sight : vanish
the moon disappeared behind a cloud
: to cease to be
the dinosaur disappeared ages ago
disappearance noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disappear

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