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

The municipality activated its Emergency Operations Center 15 minutes after the fire was initially reported, and deactivated it early Wednesday afternoon. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Crews continue work to halt smoldering East Anchorage wildfire," 4 July 2019 Ohio Families for Change, the group backing the Marijuana Rights and Regulations amendment, deactivated its Facebook page and website long ago. Jackie Borchardt,, "No Ohio marijuana legalization measure on the 2019 ballot," 19 June 2019 Identity Theft: Between May 6 and May 20, unknown suspects used a Saratoga resident’s personal information to access their cellular phone service account, deactivated the victim’s phone and activated a different phone. Rachel Spacek, The Mercury News, "Saratoga crime report for the week of June 14," 6 June 2019 The gearbox's three settings are controlled by a button on the shift lever, and stability control can be deactivated by a button on the center console. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The 2020 BMW M8 Will Have Adjustable Brake-Pedal Feel," 9 May 2019 Modern-day techniques allow us to visualize and manipulate those cells, to tag and then activate or deactivate them later. Quanta Magazine, "The Maestro of Memory Manipulation," 23 June 2016 The Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle fled at an estimated speed of 100 mph at which point the deputy slowed down and deactivated his emergency lights. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Two dead, one injured in head-on collision while a vehicle fled from Volusia deputy," 20 June 2019 The company has said in multiple statements that staff have deterred youth from purchasing its products by deactivating its Instagram account and improving its online age-verification process. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "San Francisco takes another step toward becoming first US city to ban e-cigarette sales," 19 June 2019 The statement was widely retweeted, but China's internet regulators soon silenced the explosion of emotional commentary that emerged on his profile page by deactivating the comments section. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Chinese Industry On Edge After "Depressing" Censorship of Shanghai Festival's Opening Film," 15 June 2019

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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Statistics for deactivate

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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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 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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characterized by aphorism

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