denature

verb
de·​na·​ture | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈnā-chər How to pronounce denature (audio) \
denatured; denaturing\ (ˌ)dē-​ˈnā-​ch(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce denaturing (audio) \

Definition of denature

transitive verb

2 : to deprive of natural qualities : change the nature of: such as
a : to make (alcohol) unfit for drinking (as by adding an obnoxious substance) without impairing usefulness for other purposes
b : to modify the molecular structure of (something, such as a protein or DNA) especially by heat, acid, alkali, or ultraviolet radiation so as to destroy or diminish some of the original properties and especially the specific biological activity

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from denature

denaturant \ (ˌ)dē-​ˈnā-​chər-​ənt How to pronounce denaturant (audio) \ noun
denaturation \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌnā-​chə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce denaturation (audio) \ noun

Examples of denature in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The artist Leah Wulfman is working on the videos, abstracting them and denaturing them a bit. New York Times, "‘Joy in the Grief’: Musicians Are Making Art in a Pandemic," 1 Apr. 2020 Vinegar lowers to pH, which allows the proteins to denature more quickly and results in thinner threads. Lucas Sin, Bon Appétit, "Any Soup Can Be Egg Drop Soup If You Want It to Be," 15 May 2020 The alcohol acts as what’s called a denaturing agent, versus soap, which acts as a detergent. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "The 25 Best Hand Sanitizers to Clean Hands in a Pinch," 24 Apr. 2020 As the bottle scavenger hunt was under way, Milam continued a delicate volley of locking up machine time for production and ensuring the company had enough of the liquid assets of denatured alcohol and essential oils. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Dr. Bronner's had a hand sanitizer hangup: Not enough bottles," 10 Apr. 2020 According to Kong, nano-diamonds can be treated to carry a small electrical charge which, when in contact with a virus, denatures the cell membrane and kills the virus on contact. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "With nano-diamonds and salt, researchers race to design a face mask that kills the coronavirus," 29 Mar. 2020 An arrest report cited by the station says the woman filled a mason jar with fuel, denatured alcohol and nails. Fox News, "Florida woman allegedly tried to detonate nail bomb inside Walmart, investigators say," 15 Jan. 2020 Emily Stallard, 37, built what appeared to be a homemade explosive in a mason jar filled with nails, denatured alcohol and a candle, according to NBC Tampa affiliate WFLA. Ben Kesslen, NBC News, "Florida woman arrested for allegedly making bomb in mason jar at a Walmart," 14 Jan. 2020 The alcohol acts as what’s called a denaturing agent, versus soap, which acts as a detergent. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "The 7 Best Hand Sanitizers to Clean Hands in a Pinch," 27 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'denature.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of denature

1685, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about denature

Time Traveler for denature

Time Traveler

The first known use of denature was in 1685

See more words from the same year

Statistics for denature

Last Updated

14 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Denature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denature. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for denature

denature

verb
de·​na·​ture | \ (ˈ)dē-ˈnā-chər How to pronounce denature (audio) \
denatured; denaturing\ -​ˈnāch-​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce denaturing (audio) \

Medical Definition of denature

transitive verb

: to deprive of natural qualities: as
a : to make (alcohol) unfit for drinking (as by adding an obnoxious substance) without impairing usefulness for other purposes
b : to modify the molecular structure of (as a protein or DNA) especially by heat, acid, alkali, or ultraviolet radiation so as to destroy or diminish some of the original properties and especially the specific biological activity

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on denature

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with denature

Spanish Central: Translation of denature

Nglish: Translation of denature for Spanish Speakers

Comments on denature

What made you want to look up denature? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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