Definition of disappear in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪsəˈpɪə/


[no object]
1Cease to be visible: he disappeared into the trees the sun had disappeared
More example sentences
  • It was only a couple of minutes ago since the sun just about disappeared into the clouds and the clouds, in turn, turned the color of a dull gray.
  • When the sun rose a little higher and grew warm, they disappeared into the forest.
  • The sun framed it as it disappeared into the distance.
vanish, pass from sight, cease to be visible, vanish from sight, recede from view, be lost to view/sight, fade, fade/melt away;
withdraw, depart, retire, retreat;
go, pass, ebb, wane, dissipate, be dispelled, dematerialize, evaporate
literary evanesce
1.1Cease to exist or be in use: the tension had completely disappeared
More example sentences
  • The mystery of Atlantis, both whether it existed and why it disappeared, has fired the imagination of explorers for decades.
  • For better or worse, many of the boundaries that previously existed have disappeared.
  • But as this year's Budget approaches, speculation is rife that certain exemptions and reliefs which currently exist are about to disappear.
die out, die, become extinct, cease to be/exist, be no more, come to an end, end, pass away, pass into oblivion, expire, perish, wither away, peter out, fizzle out, leave no trace
1.2(Of a thing) be mislaid: my wallet seems to have disappeared
More example sentences
  • The Swindon Branch operates a lost and found register to assist those who are concerned about a stray or whose cat has disappeared.
  • If there's a good thing in lost property, sometimes it will disappear before anyone's had time to claim it.
  • Red-faced security chiefs have now discovered that a special receipt book - the only record that the purse had ever existed - has also disappeared.
get lost, go missing, be mislaid, be forgotten, be left behind;
be stolen, be taken
1.3(Of a person) go missing or (in coded political language) be killed: the family disappeared after being taken into custody
More example sentences
  • In fact, Martin disappeared from the family home the day the old man died mysteriously on the staircase.
  • The Senator's family said he had disappeared just after dinner the night before.
  • Within 12 hours, Jack has disappeared, a hitman is stalking her family and the safe world she knows has been turned upside down.


Late Middle English: from dis- (expressing reversal) + appear, on the pattern of French disparaître.

  • The usual sense of disappear, ‘to cease to be visible’, appeared in the late Middle Ages. In the late 20th century English acquired a new construction, in which a person could be ‘disappeared’—abducted or arrested for political reasons and secretly killed or detained without public knowledge. This came from Latin America, especially Argentina, and involves a translation of American Spanish desaparecido, applied to the many people who ‘disappeared’ under military rule in the 1970s.

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