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disappear

Meaning: to murder a political or human rights activist

For example:

  • The leader of the protest movement was disappeared by the state's security forces.

  • Human rights lawyers who make trouble for military governments are soon disappeared.

Note: Almost always used to describe the murder of an anti-government or human rights activist who fights against corrupt politicians or state officials. The killers aren't usually arrested because they make the body "disappear" and because they're protected by the politicians or state officials they work for. They can only be brought to justice after a change of government, or in an international court.

Quick Quiz:

Many university students were "disappeared" because they

a. formed anti-government groups

b. were very busy studying

c. failed their exams

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Contributor: Matt Errey