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[dis-en-geyj] /ˌdɪs ɛnˈgeɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), disengaged, disengaging.
to release from attachment or connection; loosen; unfasten:
to disengage a clutch.
to free (oneself) from an engagement, pledge, obligation, etc.:
He accepted the invitation, but was later forced to disengage himself.
Military. to break off action with (an enemy).
verb (used without object), disengaged, disengaging.
to become disengaged; free oneself.
Origin of disengage
1605-15; < Middle French desengager, equivalent to des- dis-1 + engager to engage
Related forms
[dis-en-gey-jid-nis, -geyjd-] /ˌdɪs ɛnˈgeɪ dʒɪd nɪs, -ˈgeɪdʒd-/ (Show IPA),
self-disengaging, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disengaged
  • When the field is disengaged, the chains randomize and the polymer cools off.
  • The downside to this approach is that, as a teacher, you run the risk of being disengaged and cynical in your life's work.
  • The autopilot disengaged, and the airplane sailed on as before for another four seconds.
  • But these have to be engaged and disengaged mechanically, adding weight and complexity to the generator and increasing costs.
  • For some, there is a genetic explanation for why crucial parts of their brains seem disengaged while other people suffer.
  • Those infected with it move about somewhat slowly and seem emotionally disengaged.
  • But then, he does seem increasingly disengaged from scientific work these days.
  • His characters are disengaged from society, often isolated, living out their private fantasies in a world of their own.
  • The airplane rolled left, and the autopilot disengaged with a robotic warning and three chimes.
  • Being thus disengaged, he bid adieu to his friends and country at twenty-four years of age.
British Dictionary definitions for disengaged


to release or become released from a connection, obligation, etc: press the clutch to disengage the gears
(military) to withdraw (forces) from close action
(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 disengaged



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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