de·sta·bi·lize | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈstā-bə-ˌlīz \

Definition of destabilize 

transitive verb

1 : to make unstable

2 : to cause (something, such as a government) to be incapable of functioning or surviving

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Other words from destabilize

destabilization \(ˌ)dē-ˌstā-bə-lə-ˈzā-shən \ noun

Examples of destabilize in a Sentence

The group hoped the assassination of the new President would destabilize the government. Economists warn that the crisis could destabilize the nation's currency.

Recent Examples on the Web

Schieffer also cited Russia’s proven use of websites for fictitious groups advocating race wars and said that the Russian government will use those tactics to destabilize a country, saving it the trouble and expense of sending in tanks. Martha Quillin, star-telegram, "White House no longer credible, but the Parkland kids might be, CBS newsman says | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 24 May 2018 The decision, analysts said, is almost certain to further destabilize a Middle East crippled by civil wars and proxy skirmishes that have sent weapons pouring in and millions of refugees streaming out. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "Mideast allies pressed Trump to ditch the Iran deal. Are they ready for what’s next?," 9 May 2018 Since then, foreign policy watchers have warned that the move would isolate the US, risk further destabilizing the Middle East, and invite another nuclear rogue nation into the world. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "The Iran Nuclear Deal's Unraveling Raises Fears of Cyberattacks," 9 May 2018 Despite positive statements from both sides, the upcoming transition of power in Mexico has the potential to further destabilize U.S.-Mexico relations if either leader takes aim at the other to appeal to his political base at home. Susannah George,, "Mexico officials urge Mike Pompeo to reunite immigrant families quickly," 13 July 2018 Issuance of new money bonds fell 24% in 2008 as the recession destabilized city and state finances, leading to a smaller-than-usual crop of bonds eligible for refinancing in 2018. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Municipal Bonds Are Scarce. That’s Good News for Borrowers," 8 July 2018 Health insurers have for years been raising premiums, complaining about uncertainty and withdrawing from the business of selling individual insurance plans, and more changes could further destabilize the market. Carolyn Y. Johnson, Houston Chronicle, "ACA lawsuit could jeopardize 52 million Americans’ access to health care," 11 June 2018 Wars akin to those of the post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav eras would further destabilize a region that has enough troubles already, sending millions of desperate refugees into fragile countries and ultimately on to Europe. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Trump’s Iran Gambit," 8 June 2018 Mikel decided to hide the news from his teammates and coach so as not to destabilize the team and went ahead and played the game in Russia, the midfielder said in a statement released by his management company on Tuesday. Gerald Imray,, "Nigeria captain played World Cup match after learning, being forced to keep quiet about father’s kidnapping," 3 July 2018

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

1924, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for destabilize

The first known use of destabilize was in 1924

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English Language Learners Definition of destabilize

: to cause (something, such as a government) to be unable to continue existing or working in the usual or desired way : to make (something) unstable

Comments on destabilize

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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