Definition of disaffect in English:



[with object]
  • Make (someone) dissatisfied, especially with people in authority or a system of control; alienate.

    ‘what these ads do is disaffect the voting public’
    • ‘Whatever has disaffected a substantial section of the support has mystified the manager and has clearly unsettled some of his players.’
    • ‘That sense of humor appeals to a more youthful audience because it makes fun of the totems of society that have really disaffected youthful voters.’
    • ‘Ferguson's departure ago must be seen as the key catalyst for Rangers' slide since and it has subsequently disaffected other senior players such as Moore.’
    • ‘She avoids scholarly apparatus that would disaffect Hughes's loyal readership in particular and a literate public in general.’
    • ‘Losing these families is the normal wear and tear of school life - although I would not pretend that we have not disaffected some people along the way.’
    • ‘What is it that is disaffecting them?’
    • ‘Crime has reduced significantly, but poor educational attainment, poor housing and high unemployment continue to disaffect whole communities.’
    • ‘If you do this not only to people who may or may not be guilty, but to a whole community, how can you not expect this action to radicalize and disaffect that community?’
    • ‘Processions aroused particular ire among republicans, but disaffected the faithful who regarded this as an insensitive attack upon tradition.’
    • ‘He is disaffecting his far left, and they are defecting to his opponent again.’
    • ‘His approach earned considerable funds for the school but disaffected most of the staff, who hated the idea of advertising dominating aesthetics.’
    make bitter, make resentful, sour, anger, poison, envenom, make rancorous, jaundice, antagonize, vex, frustrate, alienate
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from dis- (expressing reversal) + affect. The original sense was ‘dislike’.