[dih-soh-shee-eyt, -see-]
verb (used with object), dis·so·ci·at·ed, dis·so·ci·at·ing.
  1. to sever the association of (oneself); separate: He tried to dissociate himself from the bigotry in his past.
  2. to subject to dissociation.
verb (used without object), dis·so·ci·at·ed, dis·so·ci·at·ing.
  1. to withdraw from association.
  2. to undergo dissociation.

Origin of dissociate

1605–15; dis-1 + (as)sociate, modeled on Latin dissociātus, past participle of dissociāre to divide, sever
Related formsdis·so·ci·a·tive, adjective
Can be confuseddisassociate dissociate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dissociative

Contemporary Examples of dissociative

British Dictionary definitions for dissociative


  1. to break or cause to break the association between (people, organizations, etc)
  2. (tr) to regard or treat as separate or unconnected
  3. to undergo or subject to dissociation
Derived Formsdissociative, adjective
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 dissociative



1610s (implied in dissociated), from Latin dissociatus, past participle of dissociare "to separate from companionship, disunite, set at variance," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + sociare "to join," from socius "companion" (see social (adj.)). Attested from 1540s as a past participle adjective meaning "separated."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper