You know how rock bands are always forming and then breaking up? When they break up, they disband. The word disband refers to any group or unit of folks who decide to go their separate ways.

Long before there were rock bands, groups of friends or warriors would band together for protection or companionship. They would become a band of sorts. The prefix dis comes from the Latin word for "apart." So if people come together to form a band — like Robin Hood's Merry Men — then if they disband, they decide to separate and break apart. Groups don't always disband because they want to. Sometimes police officers or government officials disband groups they believe are a nuisance or a threat.

Definitions of disband

v cause to break up or cease to function

“the principal disbanded the political student organization”
Type of:
break up, dispel, disperse, dissipate, scatter
to cause to separate and go in different directions

v stop functioning or cohering as a unit

Type of:
break up
come apart

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.