early 15c., disaperen, "cease to be visible, vanish from sight, be no longer seen," from dis- "do the opposite of" + appear. Earlier was disparish (early 15c.), from French disparaiss-, stem of desapparoistre (Modern French disparaître).
Transitive sense, "cause to disappear," is from 1897 in chemistry; by 1948 of inconvenient persons. Related: Disappeared; disappearing; disappears. Slang disappearing act "fact of absconding, action of getting away," is attested by 1884, probably originally a reference to magic shows.
"disappear quickly," c. 1300, from shortened form of esvaniss-, stem of Old French esvanir "disappear; cause to disappear," from Vulgar Latin *exvanire, from Latin evanescere "disappear, pass away, die out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + vanescere "vanish," inchoative verb from vanus "empty, void," from PIE *wano-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Related: Vanished; vanishing; vanishingly. Vanishing point in perspective drawing is recorded from 1797.
"blot out, cause to disappear, remove all traces of, wipe out," c. 1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out (a writing), erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten, blot out a remembrance," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)). The verb was abstracted from the phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.
1630s, "to plunge or sink in" (to something), a sense now obsolete, from Latin mergere "to dip, dip in, immerse, plunge," probably rhotacized from *mezgo, from PIE *mezgo- "to dip, to sink, to wash, to plunge" (source also of Sanskrit majjanti "to sink, dive under," Lithuanian mazgoju, mazgoti, Latvian mazgat "to wash").
Intransitive meaning "sink or disappear into something else, be swallowed up, lose identity" is from 1726, in the specific legal sense of "absorb an estate, contract, etc. into another." Transitive sense of "cause to be absorbed or to disappear in something else" is from 1728. Related: Merged; merging. As a noun, from 1805.
before vowels thanat-, word-forming element meaning "death," from Greek thanatos "death," from PIE *dhwene- "to disappear, die," perhaps from a root meaning "dark, cloudy" (compare Sanskrit dhvantah "dark"). Hence Bryant's "Thanatopsis", with Greek opsis "a sight, view."
early 15c., "make away with money or property of another, steal," from Anglo-French enbesiler "to steal, cause to disappear" (c. 1300), from Old French em- (see en- (1)) + besillier "torment, destroy, gouge," which is of unknown origin. Sense of "dispose of fraudulently to one's own use," is first recorded 1580s. Related: Embezzled; embezzling.
"act of obliterating or effacing, a blotting out or wearing out, fact of being obliterated, extinction," 1650s, from Late Latin obliterationem (nominative obliteratio), noun of action from past-participle stem of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out (a writing)," figuratively "cause to be forgotten, blot out a remembrance" (see obliterate).
alternative spelling of plow (Middle English plouʒ, plouh, ploug). "The accepted spelling in England since 1700" [OED, which also notes that the final guttural began to disappear in 14c. but was retained longer in the north and Scotland]. Related: Ploughed; ploughing.