[ dis-uh-peer ]
/ ˌdɪs əˈpɪər /

verb (used without object)

to cease to be seen; vanish from sight.
to cease to exist or be known; pass away; end gradually: One by one the symptoms disappeared.
(of a person) to vanish under suspicious circumstances: The dictator's outspoken opponent disappeared that evening, shortly after midnight.

verb (used with object)

to cause to disappear: The magician then disappeared the card.
to kidnap or arrest and then imprison or kill (a political opponent) without due process of law.

noun (used with a plural verb)

the disappeared, political opponents who are caused to disappear, as by kidnapping: the disappeared of Argentina.

Origin of disappear

First recorded in 1520–30; dis-1 + appear

Related forms

non·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. 2019

Examples from the Web for disappear

British Dictionary definitions for disappear


/ (ˌdɪsəˈpɪə) /


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

Derived Forms

disappearance, 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