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, holds, entangles, or interlocks
    Synonyms: unfasten, detach, disentangle, free
    • 1749, [John Cleland], Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: Printed [by Thomas Parker] for G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352:
      Disengaging myself then from his embrace, I made him sensible of the reasons there were for his present leaving me; on which, though 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.
    • 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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