dismal (adj.) Look up dismal at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Anglo-French dismal (mid-13c.), from Old French (li) dis mals "(the) bad days," from Medieval Latin dies mali "evil or unlucky days" (also called dies Ægyptiaci), from Latin dies "days" (see diurnal) + mali, plural of malus "bad" (see mal-).

Through the Middle Ages, calendars marked two days of each month as unlucky, supposedly based on the ancient calculations of Egyptian astrologers (Jan. 1, 25; Feb. 4, 26; March 1, 28; April 10, 20; May 3, 25; June 10, 16; July 13, 22; Aug. 1, 30; Sept. 3, 21; Oct. 3, 22; Nov. 5, 28; Dec. 7, 22). Modern sense of "gloomy, dreary" first recorded in English 1590s, in reference to sounds. Related: Dismally.
dismantle (v.) Look up dismantle at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Middle French desmanteler "to tear down the walls of a fortress," literally "strip of a cloak," from des- "off, away" (see dis-) + manteler "to cloak" (see mantle). Related: Dismantled; dismantling.
dismast (v.) Look up dismast at Dictionary.com
1747, from dis- + mast (n.1). Related: Dismasted; dismasting.
dismay (v.) Look up dismay at Dictionary.com
late 13c., dismaien, from Old French *desmaier (attested only in past participle dismaye), from Latin de- intensive prefix + Old French esmaier "to trouble, disturb," from Vulgar Latin *exmagare "divest of power or ability" (source of Italian smagare "to weaken, dismay, discourage"), from ex- (see ex-) + Germanic stem *mag- "power, ability" (source also of Old High German magen "to be powerful or able;" see may (v.)). Spanish desmayer "to be dispirited" is a loan word from Old French. Related: Dismayed; dismaying.
dismay (n.) Look up dismay at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from dismay (v.).
dismember (v.) Look up dismember at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French desmembrer (11c.), from Medieval Latin dismembrare "tear limb from limb; castrate," from Latin de- "take away" + membrum "limb" (see member). Related: Dismembered; dismembering.
dismemberment (n.) Look up dismemberment at Dictionary.com
1751, from dismember + -ment. Earlier formation was dismembration (1590s).
dismiss (v.) Look up dismiss at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin dimissus, past participle of dimittere "send away, send different ways; break up, discharge; renounce, abandon," from dis- "apart, away" (see dis-) + mittere "send, let go" (see mission). Prefix altered by analogy with many dis- verbs. Dismit, in the same sense, is attested from late 14c. Related: Dismissed; dismissing.
dismissal (n.) Look up dismissal at Dictionary.com
1806, formed on model of refusal, etc., from dismiss + -al (2); replacing earlier dismission (1540s).
dismissive (adj.) Look up dismissive at Dictionary.com
1640s, "characterized by or appropriate to dismissal;" from dismiss + -ive. Meaning "contemptuous, rejecting" is recorded by 1922. Related: Dismissively.
dismount (v.) Look up dismount at Dictionary.com
1540s, from dis- + mount (v.). Related: Dismounted; dismounting.
Disney Look up Disney at Dictionary.com
surname attested from mid-12c. (William de Ysini), from Isigny in the Calvados region of Normandy. Disneyesque, in reference to Walt Disney's cartooning style, is attested from 1939 (in W.H. Auden).
Disneyland (n.) Look up Disneyland at Dictionary.com
in figurative sense of "land of make-believe" first recorded 1956, from U.S. entertainment park (opened in 1955) created by cartoonist Walter E. Disney (1901-1966).
disobedience (n.) Look up disobedience at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Old French desobedience, from Vulgar Latin *disobedientia (replacing Latin inobedientia) from Latin dis- (see dis-) + obedientia (see obedience). The English word replaced earlier desobeissance in this sense, and inobedience (c. 1200).
disobedient (adj.) Look up disobedient at Dictionary.com
early 15c., dysobedyent, from Old French desobedient, from Vulgar Latin *disobedientem (replacing Latin inobedientem) from Latin dis- (see dis-) + obedientem (see obedient). Related: Disobediently. Earlier in the same sense was disobeissant (late 14c.), from Old French desobeissant, and inobedient (early 14c.).
disobey (v.) Look up disobey at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French desobeir (13c.) "disobey; refuse service or homage," from Vulgar Latin *disoboedire, reformed with dis- from Late Latin inobedire, a back-formation from inobediens "not obeying," from Latin in- "not" + present participle of obedire (see obey). Related: Disobeyed; disobeying.
disoblige (v.) Look up disoblige at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "to free from obligation;" 1630s, "to refuse to oblige," from French désobliger (c. 1300), from des- (see dis-) + Latin obligare (see oblige). Related: Disobliged; disobliging.
disorder (v.) Look up disorder at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from dis- "not" (see dis-) + the verb order (v.). Replaced earlier disordeine (mid-14c.), from Old French desordainer, from Medieval Latin disordinare "throw into disorder," from Latin ordinare "to order, regulate" (see ordain). Related: Disordered; disordering.
disorder (n.) Look up disorder at Dictionary.com
1520s, from disorder (v.).
disorderly (adj.) Look up disorderly at Dictionary.com
1580s, "opposed to moral order," also "opposed to legal authority;" see dis- + orderly (adj.). The meaning "untidy" is attested from 1630s; the older senses are those in disorderly house, disorderly conduct, etc.
disorganize (v.) Look up disorganize at Dictionary.com
1793, from French désorganiser, from dés- "not" (see dis-) + organiser "organize" (see organize). This word and related forms were introduced in English in reference to the French Revolution. Related: Disorganized; disorganizing; disorganization.
disorient (v.) Look up disorient at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French désorienter "to cause to lose one's bearings," literally "to turn from the east," from dés- (see dis-) + orienter (see orient (v.)). Related: Disoriented; disorienting.
disorientation (n.) Look up disorientation at Dictionary.com
1860; see dis- + orientation.
disown (v.) Look up disown at Dictionary.com
1620s; see dis- + own (v.) in the sense "be responsible for, have legal authority over (and thus legal liability for)." Related: Disowned; disowning.
disparage (v.) Look up disparage at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "degrade socially," from Old French desparagier (Modern French déparager) "reduce in rank, degrade, devalue, depreciate," originally "to marry unequally," and thus by extension the disgrace or dishonor involved in this, from des- "away" (see dis-) + parage "rank, lineage" (see peer (n.)). Sense of "belittle" first recorded 1530s. Related: Disparaged; disparaging; disparagingly.
disparagement (n.) Look up disparagement at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Old French desparagement, from desparagier (see disparage).
disparate (adj.) Look up disparate at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "unlike in kind," from Latin disparatus, past participle of disparare "divide, separate," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + parare "get ready, prepare" (see pare); meaning influenced by Latin dispar "unequal, unlike." Related: Disparately; disparateness.
disparity (n.) Look up disparity at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Middle French disparité (16c.), from Late Latin disparitatem (nominative disparitas) "inequality," from dis- "not" (see dis-) + paritas "parity" (see parity). Related: Disparities.
dispassionate (adj.) Look up dispassionate at Dictionary.com
1590s, from dis- "the opposite of" (see dis-) + passionate. Related: Dispassionately.
dispatch (v.) Look up dispatch at Dictionary.com
1510s, "to send off in a hurry," from a word in Spanish (despachar "expedite, hasten") or Italian (dispacciare "to dispatch"). For first element, see dis-. The exact source of the second element has been proposed as Vulgar Latin *pactare "to fasten, fix" or *pactiare, or as Latin -pedicare "to entrap" (from Latin pedica "shackle;" see impeach); and the Spanish and Italian words seem to be related to (perhaps opposites of) Old Provençal empachar "impede." See OED for full discussion. Meaning "to get rid of by killing" is attested from 1520s. Related: Dispatched; dispatching. As a noun, from 1540s, originally "dismissal;" sense of "a message sent speedily" is first attested 1580s.
dispatcher (n.) Look up dispatcher at Dictionary.com
mid-16c., agent noun from dispatch (v.).
dispel (v.) Look up dispel at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, dispelen, from Latin dispellere "drive apart," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + pellere "to drive, push" (see pulse (n.1)). Since the meaning is "to drive away in different directions" it should not have as an object a single, indivisible thing (you can dispel suspicion, but not an accusation). Related: Dispelled; dispelling.
dispensable (adj.) Look up dispensable at Dictionary.com
1530s, "subject to dispensation," from Medieval Latin dispensabilis, from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense). Meaning "that can be done without" is from 1640s. Related: Dispensability.
dispensary (n.) Look up dispensary at Dictionary.com
"place for weighing out medicines," 1690s, from Medieval Latin dispensarius "one who dispenses," from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense).
dispensation (n.) Look up dispensation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French despensacion (12c., Modern French dispensation), or directly from Latin dispensationem (nominative dispensatio) "management, charge," noun of action from past participle stem of dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense). Theological sense is from the use of the word to translate Greek oikonomoia "office, method of administration."
dispense (v.) Look up dispense at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French dispenser "give out" (13c.), from Latin dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)," frequentative of dispendere "pay out," from dis- "out" (see dis-) + pendere "to pay, weigh" (see pendant).

In Medieval Latin, dispendere was used in the ecclesiastical sense of "grant licence to do what is forbidden or omit what is required" (a power of popes, bishops, etc.), and thus acquired a sense of "grant remission from punishment or exemption from law," hence "to do away with" (1570s), "do without" (c. 1600). Older sense is preserved in dispensary. Related: Dispensed; dispensing.
dispenser (n.) Look up dispenser at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "one who administers" (a household, etc.), c. 1200 in surnames, from Anglo-French dispensour, Old French despenseor, from Latin dispensatorem, agent noun from dispensare "disburse, administer, distribute (by weight)" (see dispense). Meaning "a container that dispenses in fixed measure" is from 1918.
dispersal (n.) Look up dispersal at Dictionary.com
1821; see disperse + -al (2).
disperse (v.) Look up disperse at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin dispersus, past participle of dispergere "to scatter," from dis- "apart, in every direction" (see dis-) + spargere "to scatter" (see sparse). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by tostregdan. Related: Dispersed; dispersing.
dispersion (n.) Look up dispersion at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French dispersion (13c.), from Latin dispersionem (nominative dispersio) "a scattering," noun of action from past participle stem of dispergere (see disperse).
dispirit (v.) Look up dispirit at Dictionary.com
1640s; see dis- + spirit (n.). Related: Dispirited; dispiriting.
displace (v.) Look up displace at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Middle French desplacer (15c.), from des- (see dis-) + placer "to place." Related: Displaced; displacing. Displaced person "refugee" is from 1944.
displacement (n.) Look up displacement at Dictionary.com
1610s, "removal from office;" see displace + -ment. Physics sense is from c. 1810.
display (v.) Look up display at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "unfurl" (a banner, etc.), from Old French desploiir (Modern French déployer) "unfold, unfasten, spread out" (of knots, sealed letters, etc.), from Latin displicare "to scatter," from dis- "un-, apart" (see dis-) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)).

Properly of sails or flags (and unconnected to play); meaning "reveal, exhibit" is late 14c. Related: Displayed; displaying.
display (n.) Look up display at Dictionary.com
1580s, "description," from display (v.). Meaning "exhibition" is from 1680s.
displease (v.) Look up displease at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French desplais-, present tense stem of desplaisir "to displease" (13c.), from Latin displicere "displease," from dis- "not" (see dis-) + placere "to please" (see please). Related: Displeased; displeasing.
displeasure (n.) Look up displeasure at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Old French desplaisir, infinitive used as a noun (see displease). Earlier in same sense was displesaunce (late 14c.).
disport (v.) Look up disport at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French disporter "divert, amuse," from Old French desporter "to seek amusement," literally "carry away" (the mind from serious matters), from des- "away" (see dis-) + porter "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). Compare disporter "a minstrel or jester" (early 15c.).
disposable (adj.) Look up disposable at Dictionary.com
1640s, "that may be done without;" see dispose + -able. Meaning "designed to be discarded after one use" is from 1943, originally of diapers, soon of everything; replaced throw-away (1928) in this sense. First recorded use of disposable income (preserving the older sense) is from 1948.
disposal (n.) Look up disposal at Dictionary.com
1620s, "power to make use of;" see dispose + -al (2); of waste material, from c. 1960, originally in medical use.