early 15c., disaperen, from dis- "do the opposite of" + appear. Earlier was disparish (early 15c.), from French disparaiss-, stem of disparaître. Transitive sense. "cause to disappear," is from 1897 in chemistry; by 1948 of inconvenient persons. Related: Disappeared; disappearing; disappears. Slang disappearing act is originally of magic shows; in figurative sense of "getting away" first attested 1913.
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