de·​fang | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈfaŋ How to pronounce defang (audio) \
defanged; defanging; defangs

Definition of defang

transitive verb

: to make harmless or less powerful

Examples of defang in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The only way an inquiry can defang disinformation and conspiracy theories, like the idea that the Capitol rioters were antifa agitators in disguise, is if the country thinks the effort is factual and fair. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Pelosi’s Capitol Riot Commission," 24 Feb. 2021 In the explosive essay that kicks off this anthology, the philosopher Agnes Callard writes that such caveats defang the very point of anger. The New Yorker, "The Best Books We Read in 2020," 1 Dec. 2020 The full weight of Congress’s oversight powers can be a formidable tool when wielded properly, even despite Trump’s best efforts to defang them since 2018. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Simple Way for Congress to Hold ICE Accountable," 16 Sep. 2020 Some have also pitched ideas to potentially defang a conservative-leaning Supreme Court or to bypass Congress to pursue more of their agenda through executive action. NBC News, "5 policy fights that have defined the Democratic presidential race so far," 2 Feb. 2020 By emphasising the overlapping dual allegiances—to tribe and to clan—Deganawida complicated the notions of us and them, defanging the intertribal warfare. The Economist, "Does your brain care about other people? It depends," 4 Nov. 2019 Yet Nabt Fenjan was far from the only Saudi establishment to discreetly drop separate sections over the last few years, after the crown prince defanged the religious police, which once enforced conservative social norms. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "Saudi Society Is Changing. Just Take a Look at These Coffeehouses.," 15 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile, one of those regulatory bodies remains defanged. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Senators grill agency officials over infighting in push to regulate big tech," 18 Sep. 2019 On Thursday, Indian officials issued a statement that tried to defang the rising criticism of the citizenship measures., "In Bangalore, Ramachandra Guha, a preeminent biographer of Mohandas Gandhi and a critic of the citizenship law, was midsentence in speaking to a reporter when helmeted police officers carrying sticks grabbed his arms and dragged him away. It was all captured on video.," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defang.' 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 defang

1919, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Defang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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