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From Middle English desarmen (to divest of arms), from Anglo-Norman desarmer.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsˈɑː(ɹ)m/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(ɹ)m


disarm (third-person singular simple present disarms, present participle disarming, simple past and past participle disarmed)

  1. (transitive) To deprive of weapons; to deprive of the means of attack or defense; to render defenseless.
    • 2019 September 18, Drachinifel, Battle of Tsushima - When the 2nd Pacific Squadron thought it couldn't get any worse...[1], archived from the original on 4 December 2022, 26:33 from the start:
      The Japanese armored cruiser Nisshin has been hit badly. Shells have sheared off several main guns and virtually disarmed the vessel. In the middle of all this, one Ensign Isoroku Yamamoto loses two fingers to the remains of an explosion.
  2. (transitive) To deprive of the means or the disposition to harm; to render harmless or innocuous.
    to disarm a man's wrath
    • 1964 July, “New Books”, in Modern Railways, page 74:
      ON THE NARROW GAUGE. By P. B. Whitehouse. Nelson 30s. [...] In an introductory note Mr. Whitehouse disarms any criticism from narrow-gauge aficionados as immersed in the subject as himself by pointing out that his book has no pretensions to the status of a new narrow-gauge textbook; [...].
    • 2014 January 21, Hermione Hoby, “Julia Roberts interview for August: Osage County – 'I might actually go to hell for this ...': Julia Roberts reveals why her violent, Oscar-nominated performance in August: Osage County made her feel 'like a terrible person' [print version: 'I might actually go to hell for this ...' (18 January 2014, p. R4)]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[2]:
      Foremost in her arsenal is that smile – so enormous and so absurdly disarming that someone should have worked out a way to harness its power into international conflict resolution.
  3. (intransitive) To lay down arms; to stand down.
  4. (intransitive) To reduce one's own military forces.
  5. (transitive) To disable the security systems on.
    • 2012, Todd Julian, Deter & Minimize: The Facts You Need to Know About Home Security, →ISBN:
      You can open and close all the doors you want during this delay. Just keep in mind that if you have to re-enter, and it has been close to a minute, you may want to disarm and then re-arm just to be on the safe side.


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disarm (plural disarms)

  1. The act of depriving a person of a weapon they carry.
    • 2010, Steven Kaplan, Taiho-Jutsu: The Art of Arrests (page 194)
      As a brief background, the gun disarms originally taught to S.A.C. Airmen as part of the Combative Measures program were taken from Kodokan Goshin-Jutsu.