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1590s, from Middle French desbander (Modern French débander), from des- (English dis-) + bande (English band),[1] ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰendʰ- (to tie). Surface analysis dis- +‎ band.



disband (third-person singular simple present disbands, present participle disbanding, simple past and past participle disbanded)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To break up or (cause to) cease to exist; to disperse.
    The president wanted to disband the scandal-plagued agency.
    I used to be in a punk band, but we disbanded in the early 1980s.
    • (Can we date this quote by Knolles and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      They disbanded themselves and returned, every man to his own dwelling.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To loose the bands of; to set free.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To divorce.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      And therefore [] she ought to be disbanded.

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ disband” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.