[ dis-mem-ber ]
/ dɪsˈmɛm bər /

verb (used with object)

to deprive of limbs; divide limb from limb: The ogre dismembered his victims before he ate them.
to divide into parts; cut to pieces; mutilate.
to reduce, reorganize, or discontinue the services or parts of (a company, government agency, etc.): Our business was dismembered by the conglomerate that bought it.

Origin of dismember

1250–1300; Middle English dismembren < Anglo-French, Old French desmembrer, equivalent to des- dis-1 + -membrer, verbal derivative of membre member
Related formsdis·mem·ber·er, noundis·mem·ber·ment, nounnon·dis·mem·ber·ment, noun
Can be confuseddisembodied disemboweled dismembered
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dismember

British Dictionary definitions for dismember


/ (dɪsˈmɛmbə) /

verb (tr)

to remove the limbs or members of
to cut to pieces
to divide or partition (something, such as an empire)
Derived Formsdismemberer, noundismemberment, 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 dismember



c.1300, from Old French desmembrer (11c.), from Medieval Latin dismembrare "tear limb from limb; castrate," from Latin de- "take away" + membrum "limb" (see member). Related: Dismembered; dismembering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for dismember


[ dĭs-mĕmbər ]


To amputate a limb or a part of a limb.
Related formsdis•member•ment n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.