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

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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

Visitors pay $5 at the door and the coin slots on the arcade cabinets and pinball machines are deactivated. Eder Campuzano,, "4 things we learned from a tour of Ground Kontrol's major expansion," 7 June 2018 Villanova released a statement saying the account was hacked and has been deactivated. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "An offensive tweet from Donte DiVincenzo's account in 2011 surfaces," 3 Apr. 2018 In the letter to Walker, Barrett urges the governor to work with the state's election commission to reactivate everyone who was wrongfully deactivated. Ivan Moreno,, "Milwaukee mayor raises concerns about deactivated voters," 21 Mar. 2018 Of the top 452 posts that link out to, about 440 were uploaded by just five accounts, including three that were already deactivated when WIRED began investigating: Kevin_Milner, Peter_Hurst, and King_Andersons. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Russian Propaganda Remains on Reddit," 9 Mar. 2018 Over a one-year period in 2014 and 2015, Uber received 2,000 rider complaints about drivers who were possibly under the influence, and deactivated driver accounts in 574 of those cases, according to a state Public Utilities Commission report. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "How many drinks is too many for your Uber or Lyft driver?," 3 July 2018 And by Monday evening, the lieutenant governor’s office accounts on Facebook and Twitter were deactivated. Tessa Weinberg And Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Greitens, Parson blocked people on social media. Parson says he’s stopping now," 14 June 2018 According to the affidavit, the killer entered the home through Nicolas's unlocked bedroom window after Nicolas allegedly deactivated the residential alarm system remotely. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Texas teen, wife accused of hiring hitman to kill his jeweler father," 31 May 2018 Uber’s decision to deactivate the vehicle’s automatic-braking system and leave it in the hands of the safety operator, who in turn wasn’t given an alert, were mistakes, Mr. Humphreys said. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Uber Self-Driving Car That Struck, Killed Pedestrian Wasn’t Set to Stop in an Emergency," 24 May 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.

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First Known Use of deactivate

1926, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for deactivate

The first known use of deactivate was in 1926

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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

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