Definition of disengagement in US English:



  • 1The action or process of withdrawing from involvement in a particular activity, situation, or group.

    ‘their steady disengagement from politics and politicians’
    • ‘I'd like to continue talking about your disengagement from your relationship with Kathy and Martin.’
    • ‘The second set of papers spoke to the question: Is the trend toward disengagement from a distinctive religious identity and mission inevitable?’
    • ‘Instead, Sarah herself, in her deliberate disengagement from these troubling ‘folk,’ suggests that she finds their presence problematic.’
    • ‘The single lifestyle does not simply mean disengagement from family life.’
    • ‘The thinness of the coverage and the shallowness of the analysis seem a direct outgrowth of the networks' steady disengagement from the world in recent years.’
    • ‘He was even to claim that it ‘marked a stage in the slow and painful process of England's disengagement from her first and last colony’.’
    • ‘Only thus can we be sure of starting the process of disengagement from the project.’
    • ‘It is not just the lack of time or a particularly tough disengagement from the relationship that I have been in the past year or so that has made this process difficult.’
    • ‘Its broad conclusion is that there need be no great damage to Scotland's economic well-being if disengagement from England were handled judiciously.’
    • ‘My inability to have uninhibited learning experiences in the library was one contributing factor to my disengagement from formal higher education.’
    • ‘This often results in her disengagement from mother-child interaction, and interferes with the attentiveness and nurturance needed by her infant to develop securely.’
    • ‘From there it is a short step to total disillusion and disengagement from the activities of the employer, and a general feeling of powerlessness both at work and in the social network in which we all operate outside work.’
    • ‘The discovery that anxiety is linked to slower disengagement from threatening stimuli raises as many questions as answers, observe the study's authors.’
    • ‘This induces ‘fear and, hence, disengagement from an activity’.’
    • ‘By and large, American popular opinion has sought greater disengagement from world affairs since the Cold War.’
    • ‘His fear is that negative reporting promotes disgust and disengagement from public life, paving the way for an opportunist and populist politics that reinforces the cycle of cynicism.’
    • ‘They are fickle reflections of a more profound public disengagement from the political process, parties and institutions.’
    • ‘The report warned that action was ‘necessary to address employee disengagement from the collective bargaining processes and procedures’.’
    1. 1.1 The withdrawal of military forces or the renunciation of military or political influence in a particular area.
      • ‘Yet even when we are made aware of that disengagement, we can still remain committed to military service.’
      • ‘I ordered disengagement and sent two runners to find his platoon and tell him to join the rest of us on the knoll where we took up pre-attack positions and set up night security.’
      • ‘The increasingly rapid pace of planning for British military disengagement has been revealed on the eve of the Party conference, which will see renewed demands for a deadline for withdrawal.’
      • ‘The October 1973 war forced Israel into military disengagement talks.’
      • ‘These accords directed a military disengagement based on a temporary demarcation line across the narrow waist of the country at the 17th parallel.’
      • ‘Another nonlethal way in which technology might assist with the problem of disengagement in war will increase as technology itself becomes more prolific.’
      • ‘Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev successfully negotiated the disengagement of Anglo-French and Israeli forces from Egypt.’
      • ‘The difference between disengagement and withdrawal may be significant for Gazans, but the entire conflict will not pivot upon it.’
      • ‘Some say that the 52,000-strong disengagement force of police and troops will begin by evacuating the secular settlements.’
      • ‘We can survive, but there will be no military disengagement.’
      • ‘Shall we call it withdrawal, disengagement, or re-deployment?’
      • ‘Unlike in other areas of life, in warfare disengagement can be seen as a positive outcome of the application of technology.’
      • ‘During annihilation of large armed units, during disengagement or disarmament of major opposing forces armed with heavy weapons, the main role is assigned to subunits and units of the Land Forces.’
      • ‘Another factor is elite disengagement from military affairs.’
      • ‘Both countries realize that military disengagement and political feuding are no substitutes for a more effective partnership.’
      • ‘While continued coalition oversight and resources are still required, coalition forces are on the way to complete disengagement.’
      • ‘The EU also urged the fighting forces to start the disengagement of troops in terms of an earlier agreement.’
      • ‘But leaving settlements gives us the legitimacy to use all force necessary to act militarily after disengagement.’
      • ‘Of even greater interest to soldiers may be the effect that technology-promoted disengagement may have on those of us who are called upon to fight a war.’
      • ‘Even with the successful training and fielding of an African Standby Force, any long-term success will ultimately succumb to international disengagement.’
      withdrawal, departure, retirement, retreat
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    2. 1.2 The process of separating or releasing something or of becoming separated or released.
      ‘the mechanism prevents accidental disengagement’
      • ‘Latching connectors on .050 in centerlines are easy to use and require no tools for engagement and disengagement.’
      • ‘The locking mechanism prevents an unintentional disengagement by shock, vibration or pulling the cable.’
      • ‘Disengagement of the motor drive shall permit the use of a wrench on the output shaft flats.’
      • ‘The motor vehicle door locks have a central lock mechanism drive with control positions for engagement and/or disengagement of the theft preventative configuration and the central lock mechanism drive is operable by the electronic operating device.’
      disconnection, detachment, separation, unfastening, uncoupling
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    3. 1.3archaic The breaking off of an engagement to be married.
      • ‘Henry would turn engagement into disengagement.’
  • 2Emotional detachment; objectivity.

    ‘contemporary criticism can afford neutral disengagement’
    • ‘His emotional disengagement required great self-sacrifice, as James turned away from love and from the demands that it might make upon him.’
    • ‘It is one of the great, heart-rending anecdotes of musical history, but one cannot help wondering if Janacek's ability to go on composing while she expired shows only a profound emotional disengagement.’
    • ‘This paradigm has led to the almost universal disengagement of the public, who find it bewildering and boring - yet still it's the model by which politicians are judged.’
    • ‘Experimentation and other forms of consumption were seen, with hardly any exceptions, as one-way tickets to addiction, social disengagement and mental and physical misery.’
    • ‘Finally, she concludes: ‘… the alternative to conflict is usually not agreement, but apathy and disengagement.’’
    • ‘Young people's disengagement from, and even hostility to, politics is well-documented.’
    • ‘It includes strategies for promoting high academic achievement as well as off-setting problems of alienation, disengagement, and emotional distress.’
    • ‘But its victory was now tinged with malaise, for it was accompanied by an ever greater disengagement of its citizens from public life.’
    • ‘Canadian youth are not alone in their disengagement from the institutions that have given meaning to the lives of previous generations.’
    • ‘They are demonstrating their disengagement from and disgust with politics.’
    • ‘Emotional disengagement is often a later stage of continued gridlock.’
    • ‘Yet these same people constantly tell us they despair of voter apathy and disengagement.’
    • ‘Furthermore, emotional disengagement among family members, a lack of perceived cohesion and rigid parental control and rules also correlate with youth violence.’
    • ‘The final response is labeled the reluctant mid-life disengagement response.’
    • ‘Emotional disengagement between partners also seems to negatively affect success in all the empirically validated therapies.’