de·​fang | \(ˌ)dē-ˈfaŋ \

Definition of defang 

transitive verb

: to make harmless or less powerful

Examples of defang in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One of the best strategies to defang the sting of criticism is to dissect it. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "How to Handle Criticism," 9 Aug. 2018 When the black bear was a year old, he was defanged and declawed, his mouth altered into a gummy mash of pink gums and tongue. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Am I Not Your Animal" by Matt Jones," 2 June 2018 Failing that, the NRA still managed to defang one of the law’s provisions. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "The NRA’s flip-flop on federal mandates for states in gun background checks," 27 Feb. 2018 Dating, discreetly, has been common for years among the liberal elites, and with the religious police now defanged, men and women can meet for trysts — the woman’s face concealed — in the family sections of many of Riyadh’s upscale cafes. Washington Post, "Saudi women on the front line of change," 17 June 2018 But even to have any chance of defanging the North Korean nuclear menace, there’s one huge concession Mr. Trump must demand from the regime: that Mr. Kim abandon his totalitarian control over North Korea. Claudia Rosett, WSJ, "Only Freedom Can Disarm Kim," 31 May 2018 There also are ways Trump could defang the Russia probe short of getting Mueller fired. David Voreacos,, "Why Trump Can’t Fire Mueller Easily," 12 Apr. 2018 Making demagogic declarations of trade war — and then letting the Goldman Sachs wing of the White House quietly defang his threats — seemed perfectly consistent with the president’s broader modus operandi. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Raises Taxes on Chinese Goods, Eyes Foreign Cars Next," 15 June 2018 Kim defanged the powerful military by purging hundreds of top brass, including his powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek. Charlie Campbell/singapore, Time, "Kim Jong Un Is Showing the World Just How Much Power He Has," 14 June 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for defang

The first known use of defang was in 1919

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