9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dis-ahrm] /dɪsˈɑrm/
verb (used with object)
to deprive of a weapon or weapons.
to remove the fuze or other actuating device from:
to disarm a bomb.
to deprive of the means of attack or defense:
The lack of logic disarmed his argument.
to divest or relieve of hostility, suspicion, etc.; win the affection or approval of; charm:
His smile disarmed us.
verb (used without object)
to lay down one's weapons.
(of a country) to reduce or limit the size, equipment, armament, etc., of the army, navy, or air force.
Origin of disarm
1325-75; Middle English < Old French desarmer. See dis-1, arm2
Related forms
disarmer, noun
undisarmed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disarm
  • To persuade them to disarm, they need to be taught other ways of making a living.
  • And by seeing how these cells act when confronted with a new invader, researchers are hoping to disarm the enemy far in advance.
  • He must simultaneously suggest offensiveness and disarm it, with an invitation to hip complicity.
  • Our immune system constantly produces antibody molecules, which identify and disarm foreign particles, termed antigens.
  • To disarm the trap, one of the supremacists must perform an act where his skin is ripped from his body.
  • disarm your customers by showing you think of them as people not marks.
  • They can disarm an opponent before he can move to an offensive position.
  • To disarm the field, a code had to be typed into a nearby keypad.
  • We spent decades in excruciating negotiation to disarm and limit nuclear proliferation.
  • Nothing in the new law will suddenly equip them to disarm the teenage armies in the favelas.
British Dictionary definitions for disarm


(transitive) to remove defensive or offensive capability from (a country, army, etc)
(transitive) to deprive of weapons
(transitive) to remove the triggering device of (a bomb, shell, etc)
(transitive) to win the confidence or affection of
(intransitive) (of a nation, etc) to decrease the size and capability of one's armed forces
(intransitive) to lay down weapons
Derived Forms
disarmer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disarm

late 14c., from Old French desarmer (11c.), from des- (see dis-) + armer "to arm" (see arm (v.)). The figurative sense is slightly earlier in English than the literal. Related: Disarmed; disarming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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