Definition of demobilize in US English:


(British demobilise)


[with object]usually be demobilized
  • 1Take (troops) out of active service, typically at the end of a war.

    ‘he was demobilized in February 1946’
    • ‘We are using established programs in a more coordinated, focused way to secure civil-service health-care professionals to replace demobilizing reservists.’
    • ‘We're bringing people in to be disarmed, demobilized and rehabilitated to a program that will give them new values and give them new skills.’
    • ‘Full-time students withdraw from college when mobilized for 12 months but are notified to demobilize early.’
    • ‘The army was demobilised and without having lost a battle, the nation had lost the war.’
    • ‘We laid down our arms, we demobilised our soldiers and sent them home.’
    • ‘The war being over, troops in the Mediterranean were expected to be sent home and demobilised.’
    • ‘Politically, everyone wants to demobilize reserve soldiers as quickly as possible following a national emergency requiring their presence.’
    • ‘The military itself was almost totally demobilised during this period.’
    • ‘At war's end, most nonregular units were returned to their home state and demobilized.’
    • ‘The army of some 5.5 million soldiers was demobilized, and military installations destroyed.’
    • ‘The plan originally called for 11,500 soldiers to be demobilized last year, 10,000 this year and another 10,000 in 2002.’
    • ‘He served with distinction, twice being decorated for bravery, before being seriously wounded in the head in 1915 and demobilized in 1916.’
    • ‘Distinguished but disillusioned, Lawrence was demobilized as a lieutenant colonel in 1919.’
    • ‘By 1948 over 8 million soldiers had been demobilized, yet labour still remained short.’
    • ‘Breaking up large elements of the army also raises the possibility that demobilized soldiers could affiliate with ethnic or tribal militias.’
    • ‘By the end of October, most of the mobilized reservists had been demobilized, but 9,428 still remained on active duty.’
    • ‘When war ended, hordes of soldiers were demobilized and war industries slumped.’
    • ‘Then, once agreement had been reached between the two countries, they would both demobilise their armies.’
    • ‘Third, there is also a potential continuing supply of mercenaries as regular soldiers are demobilized.’
    • ‘He said the process of disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating ex-combatants is gaining ground, with the total number of militia fighters now halved to about 40,000 or 50,000.’
    disband, decommission, discharge
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    1. 1.1no object Cease military operations.
      ‘Germany demanded that they demobilize within twelve hours’
      • ‘In the end though, he finds himself recording the activities of a retreating army, which in spite of political turmoil at home and some internal dissension within the ranks, demobilized almost as efficiently as it had mobilized.’
      • ‘Splinter paramilitary groups did not sign on to the agreement to demobilize.’
      • ‘He is handing in his gun to the government, since they just had a peace process and his paramilitaries are demobilising.’
      • ‘Washington was trying to put Germany back on its feet while simultaneously demobilizing and turning to domestic matters.’
      • ‘As the western allies quickly demobilised after the war, the opposite was the case with the Soviets.’
      • ‘The fighters are gradually demobilizing and in return getting light sentences for their crimes.’
      • ‘This is a significant event because it came on the same day that these brigades agreed they would demobilise.’
      • ‘It has promised to demobilise before, then gone back on its word, but this time it appears to be for real.’
      • ‘It may be a small victory for peace in the volatile area, but some here say winning the peace and convincing these angry young men to disarm and demobilize might have just come too little too late.’
      • ‘For example, when two neighboring tribes need to demobilize, the presence of peacekeepers in both of those tribes' lands might help ease anxiety over whether by demobilizing they're opening themselves up to attack by their neighbors.’
      • ‘After World War II, the U.S. demobilized as quickly as it could.’
      • ‘Previous legislation forbade the provision of food aid to warring factions before they demobilised.’
      • ‘About half the new recruits are drawn from such factional forces, which are supposed to be demobilising.’
      • ‘They were also planning and preparing reception areas for disarming and housing combatants from a variety of armed factions that must demobilise in terms of a set of peace and ceasefire agreements.’
      • ‘No one in this world is going to invest time here unless they see the country demilitarise and demobilise.’
      break up, disperse, dissolve, scatter, separate, go separate ways, part company
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Late 19th century: from French démobiliser, from dé- (expressing reversal) + mobiliser ‘mobilize’.