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 New research suggests sunlight can deactivate the virus in aerosols and wearing a mask is another crucial layer of protection against the airborne spread of the virus. Jonathan Lapook, CBS News, "Improving ventilation in buildings could help reduce spread of coronavirus, study says," 16 June 2020 It will be deactivated for 30 days, then permanently deleted after that. Wired Staff, Wired, "How to Delete Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok," 3 June 2020 The account’s direct messaging function was deactivated, and the profile had no email or phone contact. Washington Post, "Bot or not? Mystery over anonymous user retweeted by Trump," 31 Dec. 2019 The move puts nearly 4,000 employes out of work, and social media reports indicate that some truck drivers have been left stranded with no direction on how to dispose of their rigs, and have had their fuel cards deactivated. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Celadon Group bankruptcy: What we know about the company, its workers and fraud cases," 9 Dec. 2019 Cleaning up the platform means that deceased users, whose profiles may hold sentimental value, may have their pages deactivated. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Twitter is removing inactive accounts which means you can snag your preferred username," 28 Nov. 2019 The letters don't say the people could have their voter registrations deactivated. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What to know about the legal fight over who should be on Wisconsin's voter rolls," 18 Nov. 2019 That’s why the Left feels the need to deactivate the feeling of unity that is born of tragic times. Itxu Díaz, National Review, "Coronavirus Is Forcing Europe to Rediscover Civil Society," 2 Apr. 2020 Despite being a rookie, he was deactivated for the meaningless Jets game, but 36-year-old future Hall of Famer Frank Gore didn't get a rest. Stephanie Stradley, Houston Chronicle, "Stephanie Stradley’s Texans-Bills Q&A with Tim Graham," 2 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for deactivate

Time Traveler

The first known use of deactivate was in 1926

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Statistics for deactivate

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deactivate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for deactivate


How to pronounce deactivate (audio)

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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