Definition of disarray in US English:



  • A state of disorganization or untidiness.

    ‘her gray hair was in disarray’
    ‘his plans have been thrown into disarray’
    • ‘But the leadership and the entire organization is in total disarray at the moment.’
    • ‘A new documentary offers a fascinating glimpse inside a Dean campaign in disarray at a critical moment.’
    • ‘More books, tumbling off the shelves now, landing about the room in utter disarray.’
    • ‘Furniture and papers were all jumbled together in disarray.’
    • ‘Steve loomed over her, his face puffed with exertion and his beard tangled and in disarray.’
    • ‘But if the Labour Party thinks the Tories' disarray is long-lasting, they are deluded.’
    • ‘Another handicap was the financial disarray that began to beset Germany.’
    • ‘The police force is in total disarray, desperately in need of reorganization.’
    • ‘She must've looked a mess, cheeks flushed and hair in disarray.’
    • ‘All of this was taking place against a background of financial disarray for most of the clubs.’
    • ‘Our residence in Baker Street had the reputation of being cluttered and in disarray, so perhaps he thought this was its normal appearance.’
    • ‘Celtic were a club in utter disarray before O'Neill arrived in Parkhead in 2000.’
    • ‘And that in turn implies a general disarray in the Brown chancellorship.’
    • ‘After much gnashing of teeth, people thought our game was in complete disarray.’
    • ‘The association soon fell into disarray due mainly to the petty in fighting among the less advanced worlds.’
    • ‘The election results and the general disarray showed that Blair continues to be very vulnerable.’
    • ‘But when it comes to postwar Iraq it seems to be in complete disarray.’
    • ‘We compare that achievement to the National Party, which is in total and utter disarray.’
    • ‘The department had been in a state of financial disarray for at least four years, and possibly longer.’
    • ‘The room was in general disarray with rubbish strewn all over the floor.’
    disorder, confusion, chaos
    disorganization, lack of order, discomposure, disunity
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[with object]
  • 1Throw (someone or something) into a state of disorganization or untidiness.

    ‘the inspection disarrayed the usual schedule’
    • ‘His caramel-colored hair was not styled today, making him appear slightly disarrayed and lending him a debonair, slightly rugged quality.’
    • ‘He was disarrayed, confused, lost, and on the brink of an utter mental breakdown.’
    • ‘His boot were high up to his knees and his cloak hung disarrayed behind him.’
    • ‘He is dressed in a formal black suit, that is rather disarrayed.’
    • ‘Turning to look into the mirror, she saw her hair horribly disarrayed.’
    • ‘I know I might've looked a little unnerving, with my messy ponytail, slightly flushed cheeks from jogging and somewhat disarrayed clothes, but I was told I had a really friendly face!’
    • ‘I still do not think Newman correct in the way he sets up Anglicanism, liberalism, and atheism as falling dominoes, but I have come to think that the Episcopal Church is disastrously disordered and disarrayed.’
    • ‘She ran a hand through her frizzy, disarrayed mane, a grin slowly appearing on her lips.’
    • ‘He studied the uncontrolled panic on his pale, hawk-nosed face and caught a glimpse of his disarrayed dark hair as he sped towards himself.’
    • ‘She looked gorgeous even now, her auburn hair slightly disarrayed around her face, less makeup on than normal.’
    • ‘K. is farther away from the water, and in the distance I can see the disarrayed sand from the first scene, near the water.’
    • ‘What we have here are certain individuals intent on disarraying the public gravitas of things.’
    • ‘He pushed her chair in and kissed the top of her tangled and disarrayed hair.’
    • ‘Her dark hair was disarrayed in all directions about her head, and her icy blue eyes leered up at me from beneath a veil of hair.’
    • ‘On her way over she sees Kyle's form, lying disarrayed on his ‘bed’.’
    • ‘This made her seem disarrayed, as though she's spent the last hour or so lying in a haystack.’
    • ‘Heath walked in leisurely, his lips were swollen and his clothes slightly disarrayed.’
    • ‘Was she smiling like a Cheshire cat and counting her money or was she disheveled, upset, crying, disarrayed?’
    • ‘His blonde hair was disarrayed and his spectacles hung off his nose.’
    disarrange, make untidy, bring into disarray, throw into disarray, bring into disorder, throw into disorder, disorganize, throw into a state of disorganization, turn upside-down, unsettle
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  • 2literary Strip (someone) of clothing.

    ‘attendant damsels to help to disarray her’
    take someone's clothes off, strip, unclothe, disrobe
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Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French dissairay.