Definition of dissociate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /diˈsōSHēˌāt/
Pronunciation: /diˈsōsēˌāt/


[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 from
disown, 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.
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: /diˈsōSHēˌādiv/
Pronunciation: /diˈsōsēˌādiv/
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').

Words that rhyme with dissociate

associate, negotiate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·so·ci·ate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.