Definition of dissociate in English:



  • 1Disconnect or separate (used especially in abstract contexts)

    ‘voices should not be dissociated from their social context’
    • ‘Where policy is radically dissociated from the reality of death, the paradoxical result is a society dominated by the logic of death.’
    • ‘The need to think about the environment cannot really be dissociated from the nature of the lives that people, especially deprived people, live today.’
    • ‘It also seems that the cannabis market was partially dissociated from the heroin and cocaine markets, as consumers could now buy hashish without contacting heroin or cocaine sellers.’
    • ‘Only the means needs to be dissociated from political aims.’
    • ‘In Europe, the nation-state to an increasing extent has been dissociated from military power, despite the fact that the modern state built on centralized power was born on that continent.’
    • ‘His attempts to depict the view from this building and design his own ‘fairest prospect’ of federalism cannot be dissociated from this dense and layered political symbolism.’
    • ‘Interestingly, the Preamble also notes that civil and political rights cannot be dissociated from economic, social, and cultural rights in their conception as well as their universality.’
    • ‘I learned a lot in the recovery movement about respectful boundaries, effective communication, and accountability, but the recovery movement is dissociated from political context.’
    • ‘The organism cannot be dissociated from its environment.’
    • ‘In cells recovering from the inhibition of actin polymerization by latrunculin A, the assembly of actin filaments is dissociated from its linkage to membrane protrusion.’
    • ‘First, the claim on the bill is generally dissociated from any claim in relation to the underlying transaction.’
    • ‘But is it really better to see Campbell in this context, wholly dissociated from those who shared his rise to fame?’
    • ‘Some of color plates were completely dissociated from the text.’
    • ‘While Crain nowhere suggests that some of the major themes of Brown's fiction were merely an extension of his life, he makes it thoroughly clear that they cannot be dissociated from the life.’
    • ‘I was dissociated from it at one level, though I wouldn't say I was distanced.’
    • ‘However, in free-living males, testosterone levels were higher in redder males, suggesting that testosterone is dissociated from dominance status under natural circumstances.’
    • ‘The viewer himself is the human element in this work, the experiencer, outwardly-gazing, whereas the observer of a sculpted figure is dissociated from their very humanity and represented experience.’
    • ‘The skills are there, the drive is there, the ability is there, but the gatekeepers are too dissociated from their own clients' actual needs to ever let me past.’
    • ‘Such fictions gain reality by being dissociated from a single author, by being collectivized.’
    • ‘I could not concentrate and was completely dissociated from my work as well.’
    separate, detach, disconnect, sever, cut off, divorce, set apart, segregate, distinguish
    isolate, alienate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Declare that one is not connected with or a supporter of (someone or something)
      ‘he took pains to dissociate himself from the religious radicals’
      • ‘Geller announced that he had dissociated himself from the two bosses and called on them to leave the club.’
      • ‘First, I want to dissociate myself from what I thought were some slightly churlish comments made by a member whose words I usually listen to extremely closely.’
      • ‘It is a strategy which seeks political power by tactically dissociating itself from politics.’
      • ‘In the letter, they say they are writing to dissociate themselves from the Institute's support for a Yes vote in the forthcoming referendum.’
      • ‘It's a language created by the right, and now frequently circulated by the left as they hasten to endear themselves to middle Australia by dissociating themselves from the unfashionably socially concerned.’
      • ‘Having dissociated himself from what we are told was a straightforward political donation, he has little option but to stick to his story.’
      • ‘At last month's meeting, the governing body passed a motion dissociating itself from statements made by Prof Clarke about the Victoria Lodge student accommodation development.’
      • ‘In a statement yesterday, the Green Party dissociated itself from Mr Barrett as John Gormley TD condemned the activities of far-right political groups.’
      • ‘But victory was thrown away by the Labour leadership, dissociating itself from even a raised fist on a picket line.’
      • ‘Also, by and large, film-makers are dissociating themselves from the cinema of the 1970s and the 1980s - which was largely escapist - to tackle subjects that are moored in reality.’
      • ‘Particularly wounding was an open letter to the press by 23 of his colleagues, dissociating themselves from his views on immigration policy.’
      • ‘This will enable you to emotionally dissociate yourself from what is happening.’
      • ‘Collins' healthy longevity is due in part to dissociating herself from what she endearingly calls ‘drains’.’
      • ‘Too much of ourselves must be deleted when we erase our personal histories and abruptly dissociate ourselves from who we have been’.’
      • ‘Catholic leaders have not dissociated themselves from the ambivalent statement emanating from last week's funeral in Belfast.’
      • ‘Rudd dissociated himself from the bombers early on and lived on the run, incognito within the working-class, people he suddenly realised he knew nothing about.’
      • ‘The years of terrorism flushed out extremists from the far left and far right parties which dissociated themselves from it.’
      • ‘One couldn't help, however, be further reminded of how much AFL has seemingly dissociated itself from its grass roots support.’
      • ‘The decision was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights only because the journalist had ‘clearly dissociated himself from the persons interviewed.’’
      • ‘Three cheers for the bishops who are dissociating themselves from this witch-hunt.’
      break away from, break off relations with, end relations with, sever connections with
      denounce, disown, reject, condemn, disagree with, wash one's hands of, distance oneself from
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Psychiatry Split off (a component of mental activity) to act as an independent part of mental life.
      • ‘This includes dissociating memories of trauma, hypnotic regression to recover ‘repressed’ memories and the idea that elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol can shrink the hippocampus, a brain region associated with memory.’
      • ‘From a dissociated perspective, mental rehearsal allows a person to be more like the editor or director of the play or movie.’
      • ‘More commonly, individuals dissociate parts of themselves from their primary relationship.’
      • ‘Each character and object in the dream is a split off or dissociated component of the self - but the dreamer is not fully aware of this.’
      • ‘In Freudian terms, one may be as dissociated from the demands of the super-ego as from those of the id.’
  • 2Chemistry
    (with reference to a molecule) to split into separate smaller atoms, ions, or molecules, especially reversibly.

    [with object] ‘these compounds are dissociated by solar radiation to yield atoms of chlorine’
    • ‘‘With laser spark spectroscopy, the higher energy laser beam dissociates the metal-containing molecules and particles into a plasma of atoms and ions,’ notes one researcher.’
    • ‘Ideas being considered include the use of hot water or steam flooding to decompose the hydrate, or by using methods that dissociate the gas by reducing reservoir pressure.’
    • ‘We then, suspended the embryos in 1 M urea and dissociated them by pipetting.’
    • ‘The tissue fragments were dissociated in a drop of 60% acetic acid on a slide and briefly heated on a hotplate.’
    • ‘Helicases are protein motors that use the energy of NTP hydrolysis to dissociate the hydrogen bonding between the nucleic acid duplexes and also to disrupt other non-covalent interactions between complementary base pairs.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin dissociat- separated from the verb dissociare, from dis- (expressing reversal) + sociare join together (from socius companion).