Definition of disengage in English:



  • 1[with object] Separate or release (someone or something) from something to which they are attached or connected.

    ‘I disengaged his hand from mine’
    ‘they clung together for a moment, then she disengaged herself’
    • ‘I shift to the left, disengaging our elbows, leaving room for him to rummage through our five favorite channels.’
    • ‘Often, the driver forgets to disengage the flasher after it has served its purpose, resulting in further confusion since turning indicators are rendered useless.’
    • ‘With her slim fingers slightly trembling, Amy disengaged the key he'd given her from her ring and let it spill from her hand to the floor.’
    • ‘I disengage it, frown at the watermarks, put it back in to finish drying, glare at the man whose print lay on top of mine.’
    • ‘Similarly, if the bearing is faulty or distorted, the sound of metal rubbing against metal within the bearing every time you engage or disengage the clutch could cause a squeal.’
    • ‘The position is slightly tricky to get into: Both scoutwalkers need to disengage their leg stirrups.’
    • ‘Not to be outdone, the other soldier kept his footing and ducked, disengaging his sword from Herrick's.’
    • ‘Once outside he connected the trailer to his truck - disengaging the automatic brakes - and watched with horror as the whole vehicle began rolling down the slope.’
    • ‘If the range has an upper oven and fan, disengage the duct connection first.’
    • ‘A one-hand or a two-hand release disengages the locking features.’
    • ‘Shift into reverse, disengage the handbrake, release the pressure on the clutch.’
    • ‘Hence it is necessary to solve the problem without the group disengaging their hands.’
    • ‘Chris disengaged the clutch, selected reverse re-engaged the clutch and floored the accelerator within 4 seconds.’
    • ‘An auxiliary pump in the transmission case helps in engaging and disengaging the clutch.’
    • ‘These functions include starting and stopping the engine, controlling its throttle, and engaging and disengaging an electric clutch that runs the bottom auger.’
    • ‘Praying that the other two had had enough time, he yelled to Tiffany, and disengaging their swords they turned tail and ran down the corridor.’
    • ‘He reaches under his shirt and disengages his betel case from the broad multi pocketed belt.’
    • ‘Instructing me carefully where best to stand on the narrow ledge while disengaging me from the safety rope, it seemed a long way down to where the guys who had jumped before me were watching and shouting encouragement.’
    • ‘After disengaging the designated drives, Kelsey gently pushed the power connectors back in.’
    • ‘Instead of it being a simple switch, a device that connects two wires when you push it and disengages them when you push it again, there was a whole circuit board in there.’
    remove, detach, disentangle, extricate, separate, release, loosen, loose, disconnect, unfasten, unclasp, uncouple, decouple, undo, unhook, unloose, unhitch, untie, unyoke, disentwine
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Become released.
      ‘the clutch will not disengage’
      • ‘With drive disengaged, the vehicle shot down the slope much too fast and - thrown off balance by the suddenly shifting weight of logs in the back - tipped over.’
      • ‘The supercharger provides boost from just off idle until its clutch progressively disengages near mid-range.’
      • ‘This protects the gearbox from undue stress, gives improved results at mowing, topping etc., and is safer as it ensures that the tractor stops moving when the clutch disengages.’
      • ‘Once disengaged, the braking mechanisms function independent of each other.’
      • ‘It's completely transparent to the user: you simply accelerate when you want to go, and when you want to stop the car, do so - the engine will idle with the clutch disengaged.’
    2. 1.2Remove (troops) from an area of conflict.
      ‘the ceasefire gave the commanders a chance to disengage their forces’
      [no object] ‘his true intent is to disengage from the messy conflict’
      • ‘At no time during the campaign did the candidate discuss in an honest way the single most important issue facing the country: how to disengage from the war.’
      • ‘Prior to that, the President had done his utmost to disengage from the Israel-Palestine arena, in part so as not to become as heavily involved in the region as his predecessor had been.’
      • ‘Additionally, units may be forced to fight when attempting to disengage from the enemy, and only the largest or most mobile forces can do so with impunity.’
      • ‘He reported, ‘Plans were already afoot for the Americans to disengage from the city.’’
      • ‘A government statement that troops will disengage from the country by the end of the year has been derided as a political stunt.’
      • ‘The government decided in 1959 to disengage from Africa as rapidly as possible after the next general election.’
      • ‘He said his division could not disengage from the country, redeploy, and retrain and refit within the time constraints specified in the war plans his division was apportioned against.’
      • ‘All ships, disengage from enemy forces and rendezvous according to plan three.’
      • ‘The administration has made no secret of its desire to disengage from the Balkans, although it has promised not to make any dramatic troop reductions without consulting with its allies.’
      • ‘So perhaps now is not the time to disengage from North Asia, although pulling the US troops away is long overdue.’
      • ‘The three-state solution would permit the United States to disengage from security duties in most of the country.’
      • ‘He has won domestic support for his plan to disengage from Gaza and the northern West Bank, but an overly ambitious focus would be equally damaging for him.’
      • ‘Once a red flare is launched then we must disengage from battle.’
      • ‘Most of all, we must seek to disengage from Iraq - an occupation for which no justification now exists.’
      • ‘For peace forces to disengage from coalitions that do not yet have the perfect answers would be both wrong and tragic.’
      withdraw, leave, pull out of, move out of, quit, retreat from, retire from, delink from
      View synonyms
  • 2Fencing
    [no object] Pass the point of one's sword over or under the opponent's sword to change the line of attack.

    • ‘The name of the attack is derived solely from the blade motion - for example: disengage, one-two, and so on.’
    • ‘He has trouble disengaging from blockers and sometimes gets pushed off the line of scrimmage.’
    • ‘The extra long qullions are specifically designed to protect the sword hand and arm, as well as making it more difficult for the adversary to disengage.’
    • ‘In order to do a precise disengage, you need a precise parry.’
    • ‘If your lunge causes your opponent to react more than he is comfortable with, you will have the freedom to disengage anytime.’