de·​ac·​ti·​vate | \(ˌ)dē-ˈak-tə-ˌvāt \

Definition of deactivate 

transitive verb

: to make inactive or ineffective deactivate a bomb deactivate a chemical compound

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deactivate

deactivation \(ˌ)dē-​ˌak-​tə-​ˈvā-​shən \ noun
deactivator \(ˌ)dē-​ˈak-​tə-​ˌvā-​tər \ noun

Examples of deactivate in a Sentence

deactivate the machine carefully, or you'll risk an electric shock

Recent Examples on the Web

Working independently and with Segway, Lime created software to identify the scooters with these batteries, and deactivated them once identified. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Lime removes some Segway Ninebot scooters from fleet amid concerns of battery fires," 31 Oct. 2018 Two other officers involved in the chase — one white male, one black male — deactivated their body-worn or in-car cameras, Rallings said. Adrian Sainz, The Seattle Times, "Man shot by police; Memphis officers didn’t activate cameras," 18 Sep. 2018 Rallings said two other officers involved in the chase deactivated their cameras. Fox News, "The Latest: Police did not have cameras on in fatal shooting," 18 Sep. 2018 Banks has had public tussles in the past with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Cardi B, and deactivated from Twitter in June after insulting Monét X Change, a RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor. Bridget Read, Vogue, "What’s Going On With Azealia Banks, Grimes, and Elon Musk?," 14 Aug. 2018 Lift your foot off the throttle and all the cylinders deactivate. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "How Smarter Cylinder-Skipping Will Make Gas Engines Better," 7 Aug. 2018 Mildenberg called for Bernot, who is white, to be deactivated as a police officer. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, ""Shockingly violent": Man tased in back while sitting on curb sues officer, city," 5 July 2018 Of Becca's 28 contestants, only two chose to deactivate their Instagram pages., "The Secret Lives Of Becca's Bachelorette Men," 29 May 2018 Wheaton deactivated his Twitter account earlier this month, citing the company’s decision to keep Alex Jones on its platform. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Twitter rival Mastodon isn’t safe from online mobs either," 31 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deactivate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of deactivate

1926, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deactivate

Share deactivate

Statistics for deactivate

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deactivate

The first known use of deactivate was in 1926

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deactivate



English Language Learners Definition of deactivate

: to make (something) no longer active or effective


transitive verb
de·​ac·​ti·​vate | \(ˈ)dē-ˈak-tə-ˌvāt \
deactivated; deactivating

Medical Definition of deactivate 

1 : to make inactive or ineffective

2 : to deprive of chemical activity deactivate an enzyme

Other Words from deactivate

deactivation \-​ˌak-​tə-​ˈvā-​shən \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on deactivate

What made you want to look up deactivate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!