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

  • transitive v. To free (the soul or spirit) from the body.
  • transitive v. To divest of material existence or substance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause one's soul, spirit, or consciousness to become separated from the physical body.
  • v. To separate from an object or group

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To divest of the body or corporeal existence.
  • transitive v. To disarm and disband, as a body of soldiers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To divest of body; free from flesh.
  • To discharge from military incorporation; disarm (a military body) and release from service for a specified period: as, the militia was disembodied.

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

  • v. free from a body or physical form or reality


dis- +‎ embody (Wiktionary)


  • I don't entirely disagree with this, but to emphasize "feeling" and to disembody "meaning" so thoroughly takes our attention too far way from the fact that finally style is a matter of words on a page.

    Style in Fiction

  • The strategies and ultimate goals are the same for any kind of torture: to humiliate, disembody (through denying the victim authority over his/her own physical self), extract confessions (whether true or false) and ultimately permanently terrorize the victims to prevent further 'disturbances'.

    Shirin Sadeghi: The Rape of Taraneh: Prison Abuse of Iran's Protesters

  • She also sees the desire to articulate color in words as an attempt to disembody women from menstruation, their bodily function.

    Female Purity (Niddah) Annotated Bibliography.

  • To disembody heads of beloved television characters.

    incipit vita nova

  • In Remainder, the INS general secretary puts his theoretical ideas to lively yet unobtrusive use, for the Re-enactor himself does not realize he is a Necronaut; he is simply a bloke, and, with Naz facilitating at his side he hopes, like the rest of us, to dominate matter, the better to disembody it.

    Two Paths for the Novel

  • It's up to others' interface choice as to whether or not you see my avatar's tag, and it's not like I can't disembody my viewpoint anyway and be an invisible eye... so why can't I be tiny?

    The Bandwidth of Big Hair

  • You know, there's a lot of bluster about well, you know, I can get a woman or I want to see a woman for her parts and disembody her and I don't think that deep down it feels very good.

    CNN Transcript Jan 25, 2006

  • Nothing could be more ill-considered than the desire to disembody reason.

    The Life of Reason

  • I see him stopped at some uninteresting station, and sitting there waiting -- patiently waiting -- for me to disembody myself and come on.

    The Creators A Comedy

  • I could only disembody myself; fly back to London for a few hours; and listen invisibly to society talking about me.

    The Irrational Knot Being the Second Novel of His Nonage

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  • If I can find a spare head, I might adopt this one.

    June 8, 2008