Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To take apart; disassemble; tear down.
  • transitive v. To put an end to in a gradual systematic way: dismantling the cumbersome regulations for interstate trucking.
  • transitive v. To strip of furnishings or equipment: dismantled the house before knocking it down.
  • transitive v. To strip of covering or clothing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To divest, strip of dress or covering
  • v. To remove fittings or furnishings from
  • v. To take apart; to disassemble; to take to pieces

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To strip or deprive of dress; to divest.
  • transitive v. To strip of furniture and equipments, guns, etc.; to unrig; to strip of walls or outworks; to break down.
  • transitive v. To disable; to render useless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deprive of dress; strip; divest; undress.
  • To loose; throw open or off; undo.
  • Specifically—3. To deprive or strip of apparatus, furniture, equipments, defenses, or the like: as, to dismantle a ship, a fortress, a town, etc.
  • To break down; make useless; destroy.

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

  • v. take apart into its constituent pieces
  • v. take off or remove
  • v. tear down so as to make flat with the ground

Etymologies

Obsolete French desmanteler, to raze fortifications round a town, from Old French : des-, dis- + (em)manteler, to cover with a coat, shelter (ultimately from mantel, cloak; see mantle).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French desmanteler, itself from des- ("dis-"), mantel ("coat") + -er (verbal suffix). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin dismantle social safety nets for short term economic gains influenced Clinton

    Vitro Nasu » 2007 » July

  • At his lunch with Reagan and Bush just after the speech, one American asked, “Did we hear that word dismantle right?”

    American Sketches

  • Good Old "Ron Paul", has always campaigned that we should 'dismantle' our CIA.

    Dem on CIA probe: 'No one is above the law'

  • So why are we suddenly hearing clamorous cries that we should, as the National Journal put it, "dismantle" this 40-year success story?

    Carl Pope: If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it

  • That structure, in which Mr. Burke will more directly oversee the broadcast and cable networks, would effectively " dismantle " Mr. Gaspin ' s existing job, some of those people said.

    Gaspin to Leave NBC Universal

  • In other developments on Wednesday, Defence Minister A. K Antony asserted that India had 'all available and possible options' open and asked Pakistan to book those who gave 'inspiration, direction and support' to the Mumbai attacks and to 'dismantle' the terror outfits functioning from its territory.

    GroundReport: Captured Mumbai Terrorist Is Pakistani, Admits Government

  • One official said Monday's arrests will likely 'dismantle' the Inland Empire skinhead clan.

    Archive 2009-04-19

  • The Republicans were very good at finding some little pieces to nit pick at, and be able to use those little pieces to go out, day-by - day, and really kind of dismantle the president and the White House's effort.

    CNN Transcript Feb 9, 2009

  • Another preacher said British Muslims must "dismantle" British democracy - they must "live like a state within a state" until they are "strong enough to take over."

    Keith Ellison's offended foot-soldiers and what didn't offend the Muslims?

  • The one tangible bit of progress is that Pyongyang has agreed to "dismantle" its nuclear plant at Yongbyon by the end of the year.

    The Pyongyang Precedent

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Say, that reminds me. Do we have any oyster lists around here?

    September 23, 2011

  • Now that I reside in the Mountain West, I miss dismantling fresh-harvested Gulf clams and oysters by the bucketful. I guess that makes me feel surprisingly creepy.

    September 23, 2011

  • This word is surprisingly creepy.

    September 23, 2011