Definition of dislocate in English:


See synonyms for dislocate

Translate dislocate into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Disturb the normal arrangement or position of (something, typically a joint in the body)

    ‘he dislocated his shoulder in training’
    • ‘You press a certain spot in the back of the neck and dislocate their bone.’
    • ‘You can dislocate your jaws and wrest your hands out of their joints, they still haven't understood you and will never understand you.’
    • ‘Andy walked away after that, leaving Laura crying on the floor nursing her possibly dislocated jaw.’
    • ‘I flipped over, and I dislocated a metacarpal joint in my wrist.’
    • ‘Because of its lack of bony stability, the glenohumeral joint is the most commonly dislocated major joint in the body.’
    • ‘The glenohumeral joint is one of the most commonly dislocated joints.’
    • ‘If anybody else had tried that, they would have probably broken their arm or dislocated their shoulder joint.’
    • ‘By that, I mean, ‘Is it actually possible to dislocate the shoulder joint by applying extreme forces?’’
    • ‘The high-and-tight fastball fractured Conigliaro's cheekbone, dislocated his jaw, and damaged his left eye and eye socket.’
    • ‘You dislocated his jaw which I had to pop back into place.’
    • ‘When I told him, he probably dislocated his jaw.’
    • ‘Your jaw was dislocated, but it will heal in no time, along with the bruises.’
    • ‘Alex Stepney, the Manchester United goalkeeper who once shouted so hard at his defence that he dislocated his jaw, is your man.’
    • ‘Feeling a bit tired he naturally yawned but dislocated his jaw in the process.’
    • ‘Her shoulders are so loose in the joints that she dislocated the left one rolling over in bed to turn off her alarm clock one morning in March last year.’
    • ‘It is possible I have dislocated a few joints, and I may have fractured a bone.’
    • ‘Often medical attention is sought because the shoulder remains dislocated.’
    • ‘There is a slight snap as a bone has just been dislocated in the neck and arm.’
    • ‘You know, the kind of cat-walk where you're constantly worried she might dislocate her hip joints.’
    • ‘The surgeon dislocates your elbow and stitches the piece of skin or tendon in place between the bones that make up your elbow joint.’
    put out of joint, put out of place, displace, disjoint, disconnect, disengage
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    1. 1.1Disturb the organization of; disrupt.
      ‘trade was dislocated by a famine’
      • ‘Our keys to victory have been our ability to disrupt enemy communications, dislocate his plans, and degrade his forces through air superiority, as well as our seemingly limitless logistics resources.’
      • ‘The point here is that because these nations are still modernising, they are open to all the disturbing and dislocating ideological forces that this process can unleash.’
      • ‘Hain said that fish and many other coral reef organisms would have been dislocated and washed ashore by the tsunami, but it is difficult to say how long they will take to recover.’
      • ‘Starting with disruption of traffic, the rain dislocates the people.’
      • ‘It is unclear just how successful these efforts, unlike the initial strike, have been, but large scale terrorist groups have clearly been dislocated and their logistics routes disrupted.’
      • ‘Our lives are routinely disrupted, our work dislocated.’
      • ‘War also clearly disrupted and dislocated international economic relations and pushed national economies away from specialization.’
      • ‘To be sure, union members have been dislocated as a result of NAFTA and other bad trade deals.’
      • ‘This rapid maneuver causes surprise, disorientation, and psychologically dislocates the enemy, which disrupts his plans and will.’
      • ‘She cannot write in her ‘familiar’ style; her text becomes fragmented, disordered, dislocated.’
      • ‘Credit markets continue to trade in a dislocated manner and look quite vulnerable.’
      disrupt, disturb, throw into disorder, throw into disarray, throw into confusion, confuse, disorganize, disorder, disarrange, derange, turn upside-down
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    2. 1.2Move from its proper place or position.
      ‘the symbol is dislocated from its political context’
      • ‘Political outcomes are dislocated from the intentions or hopes of individual politicians, as resolutions are mediated between dozens of players and hundreds of officials.’
      • ‘Also, isolation through moving to urban centres means many Maori have been dislocated from vital support networks.’
      • ‘For example, specialized centers may be established to serve workers being dislocated from a particular employer or industry, or to serve residents of public housing.’
      • ‘The registry books dislocated from the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija have been administered by the administrative organs of the following cities and municipalities:’
      dislodge, dislocate, upset, unsettle, move, shift, relocate, reposition
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/disˈlōˌkāt/ /dɪsˈloʊˌkeɪt/ /ˈdisləˌkāt/ /ˈdɪsləˌkeɪt/


Late 16th century probably a back-formation from dislocation, but perhaps from medieval Latin dislocatus ‘moved from a former position’, from the verb dislocare.