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 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 The lawsuit alleges they must be deactivated after 30 days after receiving notice from the state. USA TODAY, "Liberty State Park, Christmas Tree Lane, time capsule: News from around our 50 states," 3 Dec. 2019 The last two steps deactivate the yeast’s leavening ability, its main difference from active dry yeast or Brewer’s yeast. Becky Hughes, New York Times, "Nutritional Yeast Is for Hippies. ‘Nooch’ Is for Everyone.," 8 May 2020 Overnight, Facebook deactivated protest pages in California, Nebraska and New Jersey, citing guidance from the states’ governors that the protests were prohibited under those states’ stay-at-home orders, meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Unlike in other states, Facebook declines to take down page promoting Ohio protests against coronavirus closures," 20 Apr. 2020 After hours of angry responses about misleading information and betrayal, the star deactivated his account. Lily Jackson |, al, "Don’t be an April Fool: Public calls for cancellation of ‘holiday’," 1 Apr. 2020 The stability control system, even when deactivated, lurks in the background, ready to quash any tail-out hijinks. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Genesis G90 Would Like Your Attention," 30 Mar. 2020 These decision trees make the final call about whether an account represents a problem and needs to be deactivated. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "How do you keep an AI’s behavior from becoming predictable?," 4 Mar. 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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deactivate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 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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