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2017 Word of the Year

unhinge

[uhn-hinj] /ʌnˈhɪndʒ/
verb (used with object), unhinged, unhinging.
1.
to remove (a door or the like) from hinges.
2.
to open wide by or as if by removing supporting hinges:
to unhinge one's jaws.
3.
to upset; unbalance; disorient; throw into confusion or turmoil:
to unhinge the mind.
4.
to dislocate or disrupt the normal operation of; unsettle:
to unhinge plans.
5.
to detach or separate from something.
6.
to cause to waver or vacillate:
to unhinge supporters of conservative policies.
Origin of unhinge
1605-1615
First recorded in 1605-15; un-2 + hinge
Related forms
unhingement, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unhinge
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The music that emanated from this group was enough to unhinge the mind.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • If I once give way to favour or sentiment, I unhinge my whole system.

    Kenelm Chillingly, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I've gone through enough to unhinge any woman's mind; but, no, I am not mad.

    The Day of Judgment

    Joseph Hocking
  • The catlike creeping in between him and his constituents had also served to unhinge him.

    The Sunset Trail Alfred Henry Lewis
  • But all this is but a vain imagination, fit only to unhinge weak minds.

    The Queen Pedauque Anatole France
  • It was enough to unhinge any man, they said—that mysterious loss of his mate.

    The Bushranger's Secret Mrs. Henry Clarke
  • She feared I might unhinge it and carry it away, or something of that sort, I suppose.

  • 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

unhinge

/ʌnˈhɪndʒ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to remove (a door, gate, etc) from its hinges
2.
to derange or unbalance (a person, his mind, etc)
3.
to disrupt or unsettle (a process or state of affairs)
4.
(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
v.

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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