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[uhn-hinj] /ʌnˈhɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), unhinged, unhinging.
to remove (a door or the like) from hinges.
to open wide by or as if by removing supporting hinges:
to unhinge one's jaws.
to upset; unbalance; disorient; throw into confusion or turmoil:
to unhinge the mind.
to dislocate or disrupt the normal operation of; unsettle:
to unhinge plans.
to detach or separate from something.
to cause to waver or vacillate:
to unhinge supporters of conservative policies.
Origin of unhinge
1605-15; un-2 + hinge
Related forms
unhingement, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unhinge
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was enough to unhinge any man, they said—that mysterious loss of his mate.

    The Bushranger's Secret Mrs. Henry Clarke
  • The catlike creeping in between him and his constituents had also served to unhinge him.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • By admitting that the less may rule or sequester themselves from the greater, we unhinge all government.

  • But all this is but a vain imagination, fit only to unhinge weak minds.

    The Queen Pedauque Anatole France
  • I will make an effort to go to-morrow, though I know that to enter that house will unhinge me quite.

    The Curate in Charge Margaret Oliphant
  • She feared I might unhinge it and carry it away, or something of that sort, I suppose.

  • It is enough to unhinge the reason, the pronunciation of modern Greek, I mean.

    When Winter Comes to Main Street Grant Martin Overton
  • This will unhinge and overturn all polities, and, instead of government and order, leave nothing but anarchy and confusion.

  • But Schubart was now grown an adept in banishment; so trifling an event could not unhinge his equanimity.

British Dictionary definitions for unhinge


verb (transitive)
to remove (a door, gate, etc) from its hinges
to derange or unbalance (a person, his mind, etc)
to disrupt or unsettle (a process or state of affairs)
(usually foll by from) to detach or dislodge
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 unhinge

recorded earlier in the mental sense of "to disorder" the mind, etc. (1612) than in the literal one of "to take (a door, etc.) off its hinges" (1616); from un- (2) + hinge (v.). Related: Unhinged; unhinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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