removing or capable of removing hostility, suspicion, etc., as by being charming: a disarming smile.

Origin of disarming

First recorded in 1540–50; disarm + -ing2
Related formsdis·arm·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for disarming



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 formsdis·arm·er, nounun·dis·armed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disarming

Contemporary Examples of disarming

Historical Examples of disarming

  • He succeeded, however, in retaining them, and in disarming their fears.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • But Tresler listened to her greeting with a disarming smile on his face.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • "To serve you if possible, my godfather," was the disarming answer.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • He hastened after Francesco, and while the knight was disarming he came to voice his suspicions.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • A laugh he decided was the most disarming of human manifestations.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

British Dictionary definitions for disarming



tending to neutralize or counteract hostility, suspicion, etc
Derived Formsdisarmingly, adverb



(tr) to remove defensive or offensive capability from (a country, army, etc)
(tr) to deprive of weapons
(tr) to remove the triggering device of (a bomb, shell, etc)
(tr) to win the confidence or affection of
(intr) (of a nation, etc) to decrease the size and capability of one's armed forces
(intr) to lay down weapons
Derived Formsdisarmer, 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 disarming



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