Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To take apart; disassemble; tear down.
  • transitive verb To put an end to in a gradual systematic way.
  • transitive verb To strip of furnishings or equipment.
  • transitive verb To strip of covering or clothing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[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).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French desmanteler, itself from des- ("dis-"), mantel ("coat") + -er (verbal suffix).

Examples

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

    Vitro Nasu » 2007 » July

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

    The Trap – Adam Curtis

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

Comments

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  • This word is surprisingly creepy.

    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

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

    September 23, 2011