Definition of dislocate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɪsləkeɪt/


[with object]
1Disturb the normal position of (a bone in a joint): he dislocated his shoulder in training
More example sentences
  • You press a certain spot in the back of the neck and dislocate their bone.
  • You can dislocate your jaws and wrest your hands out of their joints, they still haven't understood you and will never understand you.
  • Andy walked away after that, leaving Laura crying on the floor nursing her possibly dislocated jaw.
put out of joint, put out of place, displace, disjoint, disconnect, disengage
informal put out
Medicine  luxate, subluxate
dated slip
rare unjoint
1.1Disturb the organization of; disrupt: trade was dislocated by a famine
More example sentences
  • Our keys to victory have been our ability to disrupt enemy communications, dislocate his plans, and degrade his forces through air superiority, as well as our seemingly limitless logistics resources.
  • The point here is that because these nations are still modernising, they are open to all the disturbing and dislocating ideological forces that this process can unleash.
  • Hain said that fish and many other coral reef organisms would have been dislocated and washed ashore by the tsunami, but it is difficult to say how long they will take to recover.
disrupt, disturb, throw into disorder, throw into disarray, throw into confusion, confuse, disorganize, disorder, disarrange, derange, turn upside-down
informal mess up
1.2Move from its proper place or position: the symbol is dislocated from its political context
More example sentences
  • Political outcomes are dislocated from the intentions or hopes of individual politicians, as resolutions are mediated between dozens of players and hundreds of officials.
  • Also, isolation through moving to urban centres means many Maori have been dislocated from vital support networks.
  • This confrontation is treated like other seemingly random acts of terrorism in the mass media, dislocated from the cultural and political history behind the conflict.


Late 16th century: probably a back-formation from dislocation, but perhaps from medieval Latin dislocatus 'moved from a former position', from the verb dislocare.

  • local from Late Middle English:

    Local is from Latin locus ‘place’. At first used to mean ‘concerned with place or position’, it was applied more specifically to a small area with respect to its inhabitants from the late 17th century. Locals described the inhabitants themselves from the mid 19th century. The same root is found in allocation (Late Middle English) from allocare ‘allot’, dislocate (late 16th century) ‘displace’, locate (early 16th century), locomotive (early 17th century), something that could move its place, and locale (late 18th century). This is from French local, the same as the English word, but with an ‘e’ added to show the change in pronunciation ( compare moral and morale).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dis|locate

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