Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To cut, tear, or pull off the limbs of.
  • transitive v. To divide into pieces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To remove the limbs of.
  • v. To cut or otherwise divide something into pieces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To tear limb from limb; to dilacerate; to disjoin member from member; to tear or cut in pieces; to break up.
  • transitive v. To deprive of membership.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To separate the members of; divide limb from limb; tear or cut in pieces; dilacerate.
  • To strip of members or constituent parts; sever and distribute the parts of; take a part or parts from: as, to dismember a kingdom.
  • To withdraw or exclude from membership, as of a society or body; declare to be no longer a member.
  • Synonyms and
  • To disjoint, pull a part, break up.

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

  • v. separate the limbs from the body
  • v. divide into pieces

Etymologies

Middle English dismembren, from Old French desmembrer, from Vulgar Latin *dismembrāre : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin membrum, limb; see member.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French desmembrer, from des- ("de-") + membre ("limb") + -er ("verbal suffix") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Dismember is a member who no longer is a member due to ill-repute -- the member has been dissed.

    April 30, 2008

  • 1297 R. GLOUC. (1724) 559 Most reuthe it was ido, That sir Simon the olde man demembred was so.

    April 30, 2008

  • It should be Frankenstein, which is totally a verb by the way.

    October 23, 2007

  • No, it should be datmember.

    Ahuh! Huhhuh! < -- upper-class twit laugh.

    October 22, 2007

  • It is, in a certain sense anyway. Remembering is the act of reassembling memories.

    October 22, 2007

  • Should the opposite of dismember be remember?

    October 22, 2007