de·​com·​mis·​sion ˌdē-kə-ˈmi-shən How to pronounce decommission (audio)
decommissioned; decommissioning; decommissions

transitive verb

: to remove (something, such as a ship or a nuclear power plant) from service

Examples of decommission in a Sentence

Several military bases are scheduled to be decommissioned. The government is decommissioning the nuclear power plant.
Recent Examples on the Web Originally part of Fort Sheridan — the then-headquarters United States 5th Army until the base was decommissioned in 1993 — the preserve was closed in April, 2021 when three military explosive devices were found. Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 29 Aug. 2023 The move is a critical step in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which the Japanese government has been struggling to clean up since 2011, when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a tsunami that caused the catastrophic meltdown of three of the plant’s nuclear reactors. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Aug. 2023 When money is left over in decommissioning trust funds after a cleanup is completed, the company responsible for the project is sometimes able to keep it. Mike Damiano,, 25 Aug. 2023 Japanese authorities have described it as a necessary step in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant some 12 years after a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami led to a meltdown of three nuclear reactors. Amudalat Ajasa, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023 Specifically, the plan centers on decommissioning coal plants, providing alternative employment for those working in coal mining, and accelerating the development of renewable energy and the green economy. Bianca Nogrady, WIRED, 15 Aug. 2023 Sing Sing filmed in Downstate Correctional Facility, a prison in the Hudson Valley that was decommissioned only a few months before production. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2023 Congress continues to push back on efforts by the Navy to decommission some ships early, as well ships that are near or have reached their retirement age. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 July 2023 Officials say the tanks need to be emptied to build the facilities needed to continue decommissioning the plant, per Mari Yamaguchi of the Associated Press (AP). Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decommission.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1922, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of decommission was in 1922

Dictionary Entries Near decommission

Cite this Entry

“Decommission.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​com·​mis·​sion ˌdē-kə-ˈmish-ən How to pronounce decommission (audio)
: to remove (as a ship) from use or service

More from Merriam-Webster on decommission

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!