Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To release from or as if from moorings.
  • transitive v. Nautical To release (a ship) from all but one anchor.
  • intransitive v. To cast off moorings.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To unfix or unsecure (a moored boat).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To weigh anchor.
  • transitive v. To cause to ride with one anchor less than before, after having been moored by two or more anchors.
  • transitive v. To loose from anchorage. See moor, v. t.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Nautical, to bring to the state of riding with a single anchor, after having been moored by two or more cables.
  • To loose from anchorage or from moorings, literally or figuratively.
  • To loose from moorings; weigh anchor.

Etymologies

un- +‎ moor (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The essential point, he said, is to "unmoor" criticism.

    Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant

  • He's right, in the sense that the American Right began to unmoor itself from reality long before the Tea Party, or even Barack Obama's nomination.

    Carl Pope: The Party of Crazy

  • Hurricane Irene's strong winds unmoor a boat and cause flooding as the storm makes landfall in North Carolina.

    Widespread Power Outages Continue

  • One of the first effects of this hyper-democratization of data was to unmoor information from the context required to understand it.

    The Panic Virus

  • It is an actual example of "realism" unencumbered and applied with great rigor, and it is likely to unmoor the assumptions of those readers tied to a more conventionalized, less ascetic understanding of the role of "realistic" dialogue.

    Narrative Strategies

  • I would prefer this to a situation in which the EPA or the judiciary decides to unmoor themselves from Congress and start making environmental law sua sponte.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Suing EPA Over Gulf Cleanup

  • Lung cancer, for instance, might start as a spicular nodule in the lung, then unmoor itself and ambulate unexpectedly into the brain.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • Cancer is built into our genomes: the genes that unmoor normal cell division are not foreign to our bodies, but rather mutated, distorted versions of the very genes that perform vital cellular functions.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • A similar turmoil was occurring on the water as men made frantic attempts to unmoor boats and move them out of danger.

    The Mistaken Wife

  • When their entreaties for loans are answered, chunks of the city will unmoor themselves from the lagoon.

    Venice on Stilts

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