In fencing, a disengage is an evasion of your opponent's attempted parry-- you are counting on your opponent to try to stop your original attack.  You deftly move around their blade and switch your attack to a different line than the one originally established.

It should ideally be as small a motion as possible, moving the point of your blade in a half-circle around your opponent's bell guard and into a different line of attack.  If your blade touches your opponent's guard while executing the movement, it is not considered a successful disengagement.  If you bring your arm back towards you during the movement, that is also not considered a successful disengagement (by bringing your arm backwards towards your body, your original attack is stopped and your second attack to the new line is considered a remise).

It is a particularly effective move when fencing beginners, who generally only expect attacks into their main line (their upper inside line, the 4 line).

Dis`en*gage" (), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Disengaged (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Disengaging.] [Pref. dis- + engage: cf. F. d'esengager.]

To release from that with which anything is engaged, engrossed, involved, or entangled; to extricate; to detach; to set free; to liberate; to clear; as, to disengage one from a party, from broils and controversies, from an oath, promise, or occupation; to disengage the affections a favorite pursuit, the mind from study.

To disengage him and the kingdom, great sums were to be borrowed. Milton.

Caloric and light must be disengaged during the process. Transl. of Lavoisier.

Syn. -- To liberate; free; loose; extricate; clear; disentangle; detach; withdraw; wean.


© Webster 1913.

Dis`en*gage", v. i.

To release one's self; to become detached; to free one's self.

From a friends's grave how soon we disengage! Young.


© Webster 1913.

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