From Middle English disapeeren, equivalent to dis- +‎ appear. Displaced native Old English fordwīnan.



disappear (third-person singular simple present disappears, present participle disappearing, simple past and past participle disappeared)

  1. (intransitive) To vanish.
    Synonyms: dematerialize, vanish
    Antonym: appear
  2. (intransitive) To go missing; to become a missing person.
    Eighteen years after Jaycee Dugard disappeared in 1991, she was found alive in the summer of 2009.
  3. (intransitive) To go away; to become lost.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields [] . And thus we came by a circuitous route to Mohair, [] . My client welcomed the judge […] and they disappeared together into the Ethiopian card-room, which was filled with the assegais and exclamation point shields Mr. Cooke had had made at the sawmill at Beaverton.
    • 1927, F. E. Penny, chapter 4, in Pulling the Strings:
      A turban and loincloth soaked in blood had been found; also a staff. These properties were known to have belonged to a toddy drawer. He had disappeared.
  4. (transitive) To make vanish; especially, to abduct and murder surreptitiously for political reasons.
    The Chinese government is well-known for disappearing particularly-vocal political dissidents.
    • 1973, Joseph Heller, “38 Kid Sister”, in Catch 22: A Dramatization[1] (Fiction), Delacorte Press, archived from the original on 2016-03-05:
      "Did they disappear him?"
      "I don’t know."
      "What will you do if they decide to disappear you?"
    • 2019 June 19, Lynn Neary; Patrick Jarenwattananon, “Joy Harjo Becomes The First Native American U.S. Poet Laureate”, in npr[2]:
      "It's such an honoring for Native people in this country, when we've been so disappeared and disregarded," Harjo says.

Related termsEdit


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