verb (used with object), un·hinged, un·hing·ing.

to remove (a door or the like) from hinges.
to open wide by or as if by removing supporting hinges: to unhinge one's jaws.
to upset; unbalance; disorient; throw into confusion or turmoil: to unhinge the mind.
to dislocate or disrupt the normal operation of; unsettle: to unhinge plans.
to detach or separate from something.
to cause to waver or vacillate: to unhinge supporters of conservative policies.

Origin of unhinge

First recorded in 1605–15; un-2 + hinge
Related formsun·hinge·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unhinge

Contemporary Examples of unhinge

  • I know any sort of middle ground will unhinge lefties and righties both, but don't despair.

    The Daily Beast logo
    'Mission Accomplished'

    Leslie H. Gelb

    June 24, 2011

Historical Examples of unhinge

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for unhinge


verb (tr)

to remove (a door, gate, etc) from its hinges
to derange or unbalance (a person, his mind, etc)
to disrupt or unsettle (a process or state of affairs)
(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

Word Origin and History for unhinge

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