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dismember (v.)

c. 1300, dismembren, "to cut off the limbs of," also figuratively "to scatter, disperse, divide into parts or sections so as to destroy the integrity," from Old French desmembrer (11c., Modern French démembrer), from Medieval Latin dismembrare "tear limb from limb; castrate," from Latin de "take away" (see de-) + membrum "limb" (see member). Related: Dismembered; dismembering.

Origin and meaning of dismember

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Definitions of dismember from WordNet

dismember (v.)
separate the limbs from the body;
the tiger dismembered the tourist
dismember (v.)
divide into pieces;
our department was dismembered when our funding dried up
Synonyms: take apart / discerp
From wordnet.princeton.edu