de·​ac·​ti·​vate | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈak-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce deactivate (audio) \
deactivated; deactivating; deactivates

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 How to pronounce deactivation (audio) \ noun
deactivator \ (ˌ)dē-​ˈak-​tə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce deactivator (audio) \ noun

Examples of deactivate in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Eventually, users were deactivated for merely noting the deactivation of other users. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "Immigration Fight Shows Silicon Valley Must Stop Feigning Neutrality," 8 July 2018 Upon contacting Amazon, customers have been given different explanations as to why their accounts have been deactivated. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Amazon customers take to social media after mysterious account closures [Updated]," 6 Apr. 2018 The late addition of hops to cold wort during the dry-hopping process means those key enzymes aren't deactivated by the high heat of the boiling stage. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "How to get that great “hoppy” beer taste without the exploding bottles," 5 Oct. 2018 B54s were officially retired by the U.S. Military in 1989, though Bentley’s SADM platoons were deactivated long before that. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Military Once Had Nukes That Could Fit in a Backpack," 14 Jan. 2019 Thursday morning, many Slack users with ties to Iran discovered their accounts had been abruptly deactivated. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Slack is banning some users with links to Iran even if they’ve left the country," 20 Dec. 2018 McCabe’s spokesperson Melissa Schwartz said his security clearance was deactivated when he was fired. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Trump revokes ex-CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance," 15 Aug. 2018 McCabe’s clearance was deactivated when he was fired from the FBI, said Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for McCabe. Shane Harris, The Seattle Times, "White House says Trump wants to revoke security clearances for former intelligence officials critical of him over Russia," 23 July 2018 Andrew’s security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "Several ex-intel officers criticized Trump. Now he may revoke their security clearances.," 23 July 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

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for deactivate

The first known use of deactivate was in 1926

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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 How to pronounce deactivate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce deactivation (audio) \ noun

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Comments on deactivate

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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