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

  • n. The act of dissociating or the condition of having been dissociated.
  • n. Chemistry The process by which the action of a solvent or a change in physical condition, as in pressure or temperature, causes a molecule to split into simpler groups of atoms, single atoms, or ions.
  • n. Chemistry The separation of an electrolyte into ions of opposite charge.
  • n. Psychiatry A psychological defense mechanism in which specific, anxiety-provoking thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations are separated from the rest of the psyche.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of dissociating or disuniting; a state of separation; disunion.
  • n. The process by which a compound body breaks up into simpler constituents; said particularly of the action of heat on gaseous or volatile substances.
  • n. A defence mechanism where certain thoughts or mental processes are compartmentalised in order to avoid emotional stress to the conscious mind.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of dissociating or disuniting; a state of separation; disunion.
  • n. The process by which a compound body breaks up into simpler constituents; -- said particularly of the action of heat on gaseous or volatile substances

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The severance of association or connection; separation; disunion.
  • n. Specifically In chem., the resolution of more complex into simpler molecules by the action of heat. Also called thermolysis.
  • n. In psychology: The disjunction of an associative connection, as by lapse of memory or by intercurrent associations, by the selective process of active attention, etc.
  • n. A minor degree of the disintegration or disaggregation of consciousness, as it is termed, which culminates in the phenomena of dual or multiple personality.

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

  • n. a state in which some integrated part of a person's life becomes separated from the rest of the personality and functions independently
  • n. the act of removing from association
  • n. (chemistry) the temporary or reversible process in which a molecule or ion is broken down into smaller molecules or ions


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • * -- We have employed the term dissociation to indicate a rupture of that bond -- whatever be its nature-which may be supposed to exist normally between stimulus and reaction and which causes normal persons to respond in the majority of instances by common reactions.

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  • As Brian Trappler, M.D writes for Psychology Today, "The most extreme immediate response to severe emotional trauma is called 'dissociation,' a condition in which a person's awareness and ability to engage psychologically in the present is temporarily lost."

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  • In collaboration with Bohr and K.A. Hasselbalch the influence of the CO2 tension on the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve of the blood was demonstrated.

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  • He found a chair and sat next to his colleague, already concerned by Wilhelm’s seeming dissociation from the world.

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  • Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple – donation of a sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus – are gravely immoral.

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  • Because the dissociation is a two-body process, momentum conservation guarantees that the directions of the two atoms after dissociation are strictly correlated, so that when the two analyzer/detector assemblies are optimally placed the entrance of one

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  • I see you are suffering from the psychiatric infrimity known as dissociation from reality.

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  • There is only one reference in this entire piece to the concept of dissociation, which is perhaps even more important than repression in these cases, and that is in the reference to a book Repression and Dissociation edited by Jerome L. Singer.

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  • In a situation where a person feels he or she cannot escape physical attack, the mind will "escape" by a process of "dissociation" - it is as if the mind leaves the body temporarily, so that the body can endure the attack, but the mind does not have to.

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  • She said she tries to pry from her survivors 'grasp the kinds of behaviors that got them through their ordeals, behaviors called dissociation and depersonalization.

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