de·​sta·​bi·​lize (ˌ)dē-ˈstā-bə-ˌlīz How to pronounce destabilize (audio)
destabilized; destabilizing; destabilizes

transitive verb

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

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 Though based on an actual trial, characters’ identities are collapsed or otherwise destabilized. Rhoda Feng, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The latter species became pests and severely destabilized the island ecosystems. Syris Valentine, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Oct. 2023 Antarctica's melting 'Doomsday glacier' could raise sea levels by 10 feet, scientists say Satellite images taken in February showed melting from below Thwaites, giving researchers a clearer picture on the parts of the glacier that are destabilizing the fastest. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 23 Oct. 2023 But analysts say the two candidates have not done enough to prioritize combating the crime that has destabilized Ecuador and turned it into one of Latin America’s most violent countries. Genevieve Glatsky, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2023 In these conventional spaces many things can happen that destabilize that composure and in that clash there’s incongruity and comedy. Holly Jones, Variety, 28 Sep. 2023 To release the belief that my ability generates my goodness destabilizes other scaffolds to my security in the world. Olivia Treynor, Vogue, 1 Nov. 2023 That maneuver destabilized the politics of the early republic. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 25 Oct. 2023 Since ice shelves play an important role in buttressing, the slowing of flow of glaciers to the sea, the loss of the Thwaites and Pine Island glacier could destabilize western Antarctica, according to climate scientists. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 23 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'destabilize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1924, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of destabilize was in 1924

Dictionary Entries Near destabilize

Cite this Entry

“Destabilize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on destabilize

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