What word would you use in the following context:

We need to _____ him from the idea that he can buy it at that price.

I believe there's a word that exactly describes the idea of getting someone to abandon an idea, and I believe it starts with "dis-". Would "divorce" work in this context?

  • 3
    The word you're looking for is dissuade (persuade someone not to take a particular course of action), not disavow (deny responsibility or support for something). Jun 5, 2018 at 15:01
  • @FumbleFingers +100 for dissuade Jun 5, 2018 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


Is the word you are looking for 'disabuse'?

The Free Dictionary defines it as:

tr.v. dis·a·bused, dis·a·bus·ing, dis·a·bus·es

To free from a falsehood or misconception.

It was the first that struck my mind, and is used for the exact very use.

Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman Chapter XXX features the usage of disabuse in a similar connotation, to give an example.

"Well, it is for my convenience as well as my happiness. If I have a very large farm, either English or colonial, you will be invaluable as a wife to me; better than a woman out of the largest mansion in the country. So please--please, dear Tessy, disabuse your mind of the feeling that you will stand in my way."

If used, your sentence would now be;

"We need to disabuse him from the idea that he can buy it at that price."

EDIT: Of course, discourage can also work equally well, as will dissuade. Other synonyms exist, of course, but do not fulfil your criteria.

  • 3
    A minor point: One generally disabuses (someone) of, not from (as shown in the Hardy quote). So the example should be "We need to disabuse him of the idea that he can buy it at that price."
    – 1006a
    Jun 5, 2018 at 15:48
  • That's exactly it, I was looking for disabuse. Thank you! Jun 5, 2018 at 15:56

disabuse is likely the word you are looking for bu another good one is dissuade: TFD

To prevent (someone) from a purpose or course of action by persuasion

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