[uhn-moo r]

verb (used with object)

to loose (a vessel) from moorings or anchorage.
to bring to the state of riding with a single anchor after being moored by two or more.

verb (used without object)

(of a vessel) to become unmoored.


Origin of unmoor

First recorded in 1490–1500, unmoor is from the Middle English word unmooren. See un-2, moor2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unmoor

Contemporary Examples of unmoor

  • When President Obama visits Israel this week, he will attempt neither to unmoor the old peace process nor outfit a new one.

    The Daily Beast logo
    America Can Want Peace More

    Aaron Mann

    March 19, 2013

Historical Examples of unmoor

  • Well, now, when you are ready I want you to unmoor her again.

    Major Vigoureux

    A. T. Quiller-Couch

  • Father is to come with us, and unmoor the boat, and help us to gather the water-lilies.

  • Can we unmoor the Santa Margarita from inside the breakwater, or can we not?

    The Pursuit

    Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile

  • "After these transactions" Captain Morgan loosed his top-sail, as a signal to unmoor.

    On the Spanish Main

    John Masefield

  • Very shortly after, signal was made to unmoor, upon which a noise of "No—no—no!"

British Dictionary definitions for unmoor


verb nautical

to weigh the anchor or drop the mooring of (a vessel)
(tr) to reduce the mooring of (a vessel) to one anchor
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 unmoor

late 15c., "to free from moorings," from un- (2) + moor (v.). Related: Unmoored.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper