Definition of disarm in English:

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Pronunciation: /disˈärm/


[with object]
1Take a weapon or weapons away from (a person, force, or country): guerrillas had completely disarmed and demobilized their forces
More example sentences
  • At conflict termination, those forces would be disarmed, demobilized, and restructured as part of a broader transformation from war to peace.
  • He not only occupied central and southern Italy with exemplary speed, but ruthlessly disarmed the Italian forces and contained the Allied landing at Salerno.
  • Regime change as a ‘morally desirable side-effect’ of disarming an aggressor is consistent with the Just War ethic.
demilitarize, demobilize
literary beat one's swords into plowshares
1.1 [no object] (Of a country or force) give up or reduce its armed forces or weapons: the other militias had disarmed by the agreed deadline
More example sentences
  • Politically, Japan can also be effective by providing a peacekeeping force not only for monitoring purposes but to help the country disarm, she said.
  • We have demanded that a country disarm - and even as it is doing so, we say it doesn't matter, it's too late, we're coming in.
  • Second, all private militias were told to disarm and cede their urban responsibilities to the police and the ICDC.
1.2Remove the fuse from (a bomb), making it safe.
Example sentences
  • As an article in the New York Times reports, the crucial point is that the Israelis are able to disarm their human bombs because they have prior intelligence.
  • An American soldier was killed when he tried to disarm a roadside bomb that had been attached to a telephone pole.
  • On the letter bomb front, army bomb disposal experts were called on to disarm a letter bomb sent to an unnamed agricultural business and a farm.
defuse, disable, deactivate, put out of action, make harmless
2Allay the hostility or suspicions of: his tact and political skills will disarm critics
More example sentences
  • He's bright, amusing and just vulnerable enough to disarm critics.
  • Many actually planned and encouraged terroristic crimes so as to disarm suspicion and, in some cases, help their careers.
  • Furthermore, the man is honest to a fault and disarms any critics by agreeing with them.
win over, charm, persuade, thaw;
2.1Deprive of the power to injure or hurt: camp humor acts to provoke rather than disarm moral indignation
More example sentences
  • Countervailing these reactions there is one other, and I think it is an emotion, a sensation rather, that entirely disarms these impurer thoughts and provides the surest signal one has encountered authentic art.
  • I think Mr Gageler rather disarms your argument on that because he accepted that you could not by contrived insertions lift the matter up into the constitutional protection if it was not otherwise there.
  • It disarms criticism, obscures realities, and prejudges results.


Late Middle English: from Old French desarmer.

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Syllabification: dis·arm

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