Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To divest of a weapon or weapons.
  • transitive v. To deprive of the means of attack or defense; render harmless: "Have the courage to appear poor, and you disarm poverty of its sharpest sting” ( Washington Irving).
  • transitive v. To overcome or allay the suspicion, hostility, or antagonism of.
  • transitive v. To win the confidence of.
  • intransitive v. To lay down arms.
  • intransitive v. To reduce or abolish armed forces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To deprive of arms; to take away the weapons of; to deprive of the means of attack or defense; to render defenseless.
  • v. To deprive of the means or the disposition to harm; to render harmless or innocuous; as, to disarm a man's wrath.
  • v. To lay down arms; to stand down.
  • v. To reduce one's own military forces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To deprive of arms; to take away the weapons of; to deprive of the means of attack or defense; to render defenseless.
  • transitive v. To deprive of the means or the disposition to harm; to render harmless or innocuous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deprive of arms; take the arms or weapons from; take off the armor from: as, he disarmed his foe; the prince gave orders to disarm his subjects: with of before the thing taken away: as, to disarm one of his weapons.
  • Specifically To reduce to a peace footing, as an army or a navy.
  • To deprive of means of attack or defense; render harmless or defenseless: as, to disarm a venomous serpent.
  • To deprive of force, strength, means of injuring, or power to terrify; quell: as, to disarm rage or passion; religion disarms death of its terrors.
  • To lay down arms; specifically, to reduce armaments to a peace footing; dismiss or disband troops: as, the nations were then disarming.
  • To press (the lips of a horse) outward so that they may not be bruised on the toothless portions, or bars, of the lower jaw.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make less hostile; win over
  • v. remove offensive capability from
  • v. take away the weapons from; render harmless

Etymologies

Middle English disarmen, from Old French desarmer : des-, dis- + armer, to arm (from Latin armāre, from arma, weapons; see ar- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English desarmen ("to divest of arms"), from Anglo-Norman desarmer (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The idea of all the nations in the world getting together and agreeing to disarm is a fairy tale (a nice fairy tale, but nowhere near reality).

    Think Progress » Washington Times Misfires on Missile Defense

  • I met the person I would disarm him, without realising what a bitter pun the word disarm was.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Could Pain disarm, and Death's last pang beguile —!

    On the Death of Lieutenant-Colonel Buller, Killed in Flanders in 1795

  • Fighter swings first, takes off one hobgob’s arm; that’s what I call a disarm attempt!

    D&D 4e’s Out… And It’s Awful. Here’s Why « Geek Related

  • Although details are still being finalized on how exactly the program will work, each militant who agrees to disarm is to receive an allowance of around $135 a month plus $100 or so a month for food.

    Nigeria's Amnesty Program Draws Criticism

  • There are Security Council resolutions that have been approved that took note and took note of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, and called on all militias in southern Lebanon to disarm, which is something Hezbollah has certainly -- has not done.

    CNN Transcript Jul 14, 2006

  • At the end of the day, I think the president of the United States has decided that the only way for getting Saddam Hussein to disarm is to disarm him with force.

    CNN Transcript Feb 5, 2003

  • Well, if you reject the logic of ultimatums, you're telling Iraq you have forever to disarm, which is contradicted by 1441 which said you must immediately disarm, which raises questions about France's commitment to 1441.

    CNN Transcript Mar 13, 2003

  • Iraq is supposed to be disarming, and they have not established, to my satisfaction anyway, and I think to the satisfaction of the international community, that they are moving in good faith to disarm, which is what they're supposed to do under the resolution.

    CNN Transcript Jan 19, 2003

  • The best way to convince him to disarm is to get the nations to come together through the U.N. and try to convince him to disarm.

    CNN Transcript Nov 7, 2002

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Comments

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  • disarm you with a smile, and cut you like you want me to

    January 1, 2007