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

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 How to pronounce destabilization (audio) \ 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

Rather than working to further destabilize Europe, Trump celebrated two of his nation’s oldest alliances, which he had previously belittled and undermined, and basked in the glow of a formal dinner with Queen Elizabeth II. Eli Stokols,, "For Trump, it’s all personal; ideology takes second place," 7 June 2019 After the first success of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 a growing insurgency began to destabilize Iraq. Arthur Herman, WSJ, "‘White House Warriors’ Review: A Bullpen for Strategy," 14 May 2019 The latter may even continue to destabilize neighboring regions. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "An Iceberg Twice the Size of New York City Is Poised to Break Off Antarctica," 26 Feb. 2019 Far-right parties will still work to destabilize Europe. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The 7 biggest foreign news stories to watch in 2019, from Brexit to North Korea," 24 Dec. 2018 Shaffer and others believe Iranians have long funded an array of insurgent outfits in Pakistan, in part as a means to destabilize U.S. efforts in the region. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Iran, in shadow proxy war with Saudis, expands its Pakistan influence," 12 Sep. 2018 Central African Republic is one of several fragile states in the middle of the continent destabilized in part by weapons and fighters that spilled out of Libya after the 2011 overthrow of Col. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "EU to Boost Support for Central African Republic as Russia Expands Its Role," 15 Oct. 2018 The Central African Republic is one of the world's most impoverished countries, destabilized by deadly sectarian violence since 2013 with thousands of people of killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. Chris Irvine, Fox News, "African country denies they granted former tennis champ diplomatic immunity," 19 June 2018 But many Commonwealth nations have been plagued by corruption or destabilized by coups. Time, "Queen Elizabeth Publicly Supports Prince Charles for the First Time to Succeed Her as Leader of the Commonwealth," 19 Apr. 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

13 Jun 2019

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on destabilize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with destabilize

Nglish: Translation of destabilize for Spanish Speakers

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behavior toward others

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