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disengage

[dis-en-geyj] /ˌdɪs ɛnˈgeɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), disengaged, disengaging.
1.
to release from attachment or connection; loosen; unfasten:
to disengage a clutch.
2.
to free (oneself) from an engagement, pledge, obligation, etc.:
He accepted the invitation, but was later forced to disengage himself.
3.
Military. to break off action with (an enemy).
verb (used without object), disengaged, disengaging.
4.
to become disengaged; free oneself.
Origin of disengage
1605-1615
1605-15; < Middle French desengager, equivalent to des- dis-1 + engager to engage
Related forms
disengagedness
[dis-en-gey-jid-nis, -geyjd-] /ˌdɪs ɛnˈgeɪ dʒɪd nɪs, -ˈgeɪdʒd-/ (Show IPA),
noun
self-disengaging, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for disengage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was thus that Italian comedy began to disengage itself from Latin.

  • When you make a pass, Sir, you must first disengage, and your body must be well turned.

  • Jean Valjean made no attempt to disengage the hand which grasped the collar of his coat.

    Les Misrables Victor Hugo
  • We must disengage ourselves from the ideas which the customary use of words has implanted in us.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • Gertie struggled to disengage herself, but Bulpert declined to move.

    Love at Paddington W. Pett Ridge
  • Gently she sought to disengage her hand, the trouble in her face increasing.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • While he almost lifted her to a seat, her fingers refused to release his, and he was forced to disengage them.

    Macaria Augusta Jane Evans Wilson
  • She tried to disengage her wrist, but he was holding her with a tight, nervous grip.

    A Bride of the Plains Baroness Emmuska Orczy
British Dictionary definitions for disengage

disengage

/ˌdɪsɪnˈɡeɪdʒ/
verb
1.
to release or become released from a connection, obligation, etc: press the clutch to disengage the gears
2.
(military) to withdraw (forces) from close action
3.
(fencing) to move (one's blade) from one side of an opponent's blade to another in a circular motion to bring the blade into an open line of attack
Derived Forms
disengaged, adjective
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 disengage
v.

c.1600 in figurative sense; 1660s in literal sense of "detach," from dis- "do the opposite of" + engage (q.v.). Related: Disengaged; disengaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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