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disappear

[dis-uh-peer]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to cease to be seen; vanish from sight.
  2. to cease to exist or be known; pass away; end gradually: One by one the symptoms disappeared.
  3. (of a person) to vanish under suspicious circumstances: The dictator's outspoken opponent disappeared that evening, shortly after midnight.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to disappear: The magician then disappeared the card.
  2. to kidnap or arrest and then imprison or kill (a political opponent) without due process of law.
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noun (used with a plural verb)
  1. the disappeared, political opponents who are caused to disappear, as by kidnapping: the disappeared of Argentina.
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Origin of disappear

First recorded in 1520–30; dis-1 + appear
Related formsnon·dis·ap·pear·ing, adjectiveun·dis·ap·pear·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. Disappear, fade, vanish suggest that something passes from sight. Disappear is used of whatever suddenly or gradually goes out of sight: We watched him turn down a side street and then disappear. Fade suggests a (complete or partial) disappearance that proceeds gradually and often by means of a blending into something else: Colors in the sky at sunrise quickly fade. Vanish suggests complete, generally rapid, and often mysterious disappearance: A mirage can vanish as suddenly as it appears.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for disappear

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mr. Tainter saw me disappear from the window, and at once spoke to the transmitter.

  • Then he'd get the blame, and I'd disappear, never to be seen again.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • The tropical forms all disappear in these zones, as the equatorial do in the tropical zones.

  • You said at the beginning that nothing was more difficult than to disappear.

  • No, I've got to disappear again, and they must think what they will.


British Dictionary definitions for disappear

disappear

verb
  1. (intr) to cease to be visible; vanish
  2. (intr) to go away or become lost, esp secretly or without explanation
  3. (intr) to cease to exist, have effect, or be known; become extinct or lostthe pain has disappeared
  4. (tr) (esp in South and Central America) to arrest secretly and presumably imprison or kill (a member of an opposing political group)
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Derived Formsdisappearance, 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

Word Origin and History for disappear

v.

early 15c., disaperen, from dis- "do the opposite of" + appear. Earlier was disparish (early 15c.), from French disparaiss-, stem of disparaître. Related: Disappeared; disappearing; disappears. Slang disappearing act is originally of magic shows; in figurative sense of "getting away" first attested 1913.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper