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

Jordan, a vital U.S. ally in the Middle East, fears the funding cuts could destabilize an economy already strained by more than 658,000 Syrian refugees, and ignite social unrest by cutting vital services to the Palestinians. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Jordan Scrambles to Recoup Funds for Palestinians Lost to U.S. Cuts," 19 Sep. 2018 Even within the hemisphere, the administration has been focused on the crisis in Venezuela, which has unleashed a massive exodus of emigrants that threatens to destabilize the region. Nora Gámez Torres, miamiherald, "Trump is willing to negotiate with North Korea — but not Cuba," 14 June 2018 Despite positive statements from both sides, the upcoming transition of power in Mexico also has the potential to destabilize U.S.-Mexico relations if either leader takes aim at the other to appeal to his political base at home. Washington Post, "Pompeo travels to Mexico to meet new leftist president-elect," 13 July 2018 Healey said the merger has the potential to destabilize independent hospitals, particularly those in lower-income communities, by drawing patients away from them. Priyanka Dayal Mccluskey,, "Healey raises concern about Beth Israel, Lahey merger," 10 July 2018 Nor was the team destabilized by the social stresses of the late '60s and '70s. Jon Wertheim,, "Johnny Bench Is Already a Hall-of-Famer, But He's Looking For a New Distinction," 5 July 2018 Dangerous enough to get Lonzo Ball shipped out of town or, if the Lakers decide keep the their young point guard, dangerous enough to destabilize the Lakers. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "There's no way LeBron James and LaVar Ball can coexist with the Lakers," 2 July 2018 The head of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry, Vladimir Puchkov, said rescuers struggled to contain and extinguish the fire as parts of the building began to destabilize. Matthew Bodner, Anchorage Daily News, "Trapped children called their parents from burning Russian mall to say goodbye," 26 Mar. 2018 Without the steadying mechanism, that could destabilize the markets in the long term. Brian Broderick And Sarah Kopit,, "Trump administration freezes billions of dollars in payments to Obamacare insurers," 8 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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Statistics for destabilize

Last Updated

14 Nov 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

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