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[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
First recorded in 1325-75; Middle English word from Old French word desarmer. See dis-1, arm2
Related forms
disarmer, noun
undisarmed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for disarm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he was resolved to use his best skill to disarm her sophistication.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • She could disarm Gustavus of his sword, which was so terrible to the princes of Europe.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • There is not another instrument can be discovered, to disarm and vanquish the human mind.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • “To work, madame,” he replied, lifting his cap with a courtesy which seemed to disarm her.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • Unconsciously, each had taken the best method to disarm the other.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
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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