verb (used without object)
- to cease to be seen; vanish from sight.
- to cease to exist or be known; pass away; end gradually: One by one the symptoms disappeared.
- (of a person) to vanish under suspicious circumstances: The dictator’s outspoken opponent disappeared that evening, shortly after midnight.
verb (used with object)
- to cause to disappear: The magician then disappeared the card.
- to kidnap or arrest and then imprison or kill (a political opponent) without due process of law.
noun (used with a plural verb)
- the disappeared, political opponents who are caused to disappear, as by kidnapping: the disappeared of Argentina.
- (intr) to cease to be visible; vanish
- (intr) to go away or become lost, esp secretly or without explanation
- (intr) to cease to exist, have effect, or be known; become extinct or lostthe pain has disappeared
- (tr) (esp in South and Central America) to arrest secretly and presumably imprison or kill (a member of an opposing political group)
early 15c., disaperen, from dis- “do the opposite of” + appear. Earlier was disparish (early 15c.), from French disparaiss-, stem of disparaître. Related: Disappeared; disappearing; disappears. Slang disappearing act is originally of magic shows; in figurative sense of “getting away” first attested 1913.