disengage

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle French désengager ; dis- +‎ engage

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

disengage (plural disengages)

  1. (fencing) A circular movement of the blade that avoids the opponent's parry

Verb[edit]

disengage (third-person singular simple present disengages, present participle disengaging, simple past and past participle disengaged)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To release or loosen from something that binds, entangles, holds, or interlocks.
    Synonyms: detach, disentangle, free, unfasten
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “[Letter the First]”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], volume I, London: [] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352, pages 213–214:
      Diſingaging myſelf then from his embrace, I made him ſenſible of the reaſons there were for his preſent leaving me; on which, tho' reluctantly, he put on his cloaths with as little expedition, however, as he could help, wantonly interrupting himſelf between whiles, with kiſſes, touches, and embraces, I could not refuſe myſelf to; [...]
    • 1894, George du Maurier, “Part Third”, in Trilby: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, OCLC 174215199, page 165:
      With the help of a sleepy waiter, Little Billee got the bacchanalian into his room and lit his candle for him, and, disengaging himself from his maudlin embraces, left him to wallow in solitude.
    • 1982, Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything:
      Ford still had his hand stuck out. Arthur looked at it with incomprehension. / "Shake," prompted Ford. / Arthur did, nervously at first, as if it might turn out to be a fish. Then he grasped it vigorously with both hands in an overwhelming flood of relief. He shook it and shook it. / After a while Ford found it necessary to disengage.

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