Definition of dissociate in English:


Syllabification: dis·so·ci·ate
Pronunciation: /diˈsōSHēˌāt, -ˈsōsē-


[with object]
  • 1Disconnect or separate (used especially in abstract contexts): voices should not be dissociated from their social context
    More example sentences
    • I learned a lot in the recovery movement about respectful boundaries, effective communication, and accountability, but the recovery movement is dissociated from political context.
    • But is it really better to see Campbell in this context, wholly dissociated from those who shared his rise to fame?
    • I was dissociated from it at one level, though I wouldn't say I was distanced.
    separate, detach, disconnect, sever, cut off, divorce; isolate, alienate, disassociate
  • 1.1 (dissociate oneself from) Declare that one is not connected with or a supporter of (someone or something): he took pains to dissociate himself from the religious radicals
    More example sentences
    • Collins' healthy longevity is due in part to dissociating herself from what she endearingly calls ‘drains’.
    • One couldn't help, however, be further reminded of how much AFL has seemingly dissociated itself from its grass roots support.
    • In the letter, they say they are writing to dissociate themselves from the Institute's support for a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum.
    break away from, end relations with, sever connections with; withdraw from, quit, leave, disaffiliate from, resign from, pull out of, drop out of, defect fromdisown, reject, disagree with, distance oneself from
  • 1.2 (usually be dissociated) Psychiatry Split off (a component of mental activity) to act as an independent part of mental life.
    More example sentences
    • Each character and object in the dream is a split off or dissociated component of the self - but the dreamer is not fully aware of this.
    • This includes dissociating memories of trauma, hypnotic regression to recover ‘repressed’ memories and the idea that elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol can shrink the hippocampus, a brain region associated with memory.
    • More commonly, individuals dissociate parts of themselves from their primary relationship.
  • 2 Chemistry (With reference to a molecule) to split into separate smaller atoms, ions, or molecules, especially reversibly: [with object]: these compounds are dissociated by solar radiation to yield atoms of chlorine
    More example sentences
    • ‘With laser spark spectroscopy, the higher energy laser beam dissociates the metal-containing molecules and particles into a plasma of atoms and ions,’ notes one researcher.
    • Helicases are protein motors that use the energy of NTP hydrolysis to dissociate the hydrogen bonding between the nucleic acid duplexes and also to disrupt other non-covalent interactions between complementary base pairs.
    • Ideas being considered include the use of hot water or steam flooding to decompose the hydrate, or by using methods that dissociate the gas by reducing reservoir pressure.



Pronunciation: /-ˌātiv, -SHətiv/
More example sentences
  • Helen suffers from dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder, and switches between personas at a second's notice.
  • Regarding dissociative phenomena, most of these workers focused on degeneration, pathology, and maladjustment and were generally hostile to the concept of normal dissociation.
  • Psychiatric and neurophysiological research and theory development are better directed towards individual components that contribute to dissociative experience.


mid 16th century: from Latin dissociat- 'separated', from the verb dissociare, from dis- (expressing reversal) + sociare 'join together' (from socius 'companion').

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