detoxify

verb
de·​tox·​i·​fy | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈtäk-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce detoxify (audio) \
detoxified; detoxifying

Definition of detoxify

transitive verb

1a : to remove a harmful substance (such as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such from
b : to render (a harmful substance) harmless
2 : to free (someone, such as a drug user or an alcoholic) from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance

Other Words from detoxify

detoxification \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌtäk-​sə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce detoxify (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

These days, detoxify can mean to free (someone) from a substance addiction (and yes, it's the source of detox, a more recent word that also refers to getting drugs or alcohol out of a person's system). Originally, however, detoxification was something done to things rather than to people. In its earliest uses - from about 1905 - detoxify referred to the removal of poison, or of poisonous or damaging properties, from a harmful substance, or to the removal of poisonous or toxic substances from something contaminated (such as the bloodstream).The specific application to removing poison from an addict is relatively new, dating to the mid-20th century. Today, detoxify is also often used generally in reference to counteracting the activity or effect of anything harmful (such as propaganda).

Examples of detoxify in a Sentence

a special tea that is supposed to detoxify the body a drug addict who is being detoxified
Recent Examples on the Web But your liver, kidneys and lungs have likely already worked overtime to detoxify your body. Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 7 Jan. 2022 Needless to say, charcoal can come to the rescue to detoxify the situation. Devon Abelman, Allure, 1 Nov. 2021 For example, frogs, with their permeable skin and limited abilities to detoxify, are bioindicators of environmental pollution. Susan D'agostino, Wired, 28 Aug. 2021 Ingredients include bamboo water, wild seagrass, and coconut milk—plus turmeric to detoxify and tone skin. Kristi Kellogg, Glamour, 5 Aug. 2021 The Rose Bar has a unique offering of longevity programs, which use diagnostics, nutritional guidance, and modern healing methods to optimize health and detoxify the body. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 20 July 2021 The decadent notes from top to bottom create a rich rosy scent, while volcanic minerals detoxify the scalp and give the hair body. Jennifer Ford, Forbes, 5 May 2021 What about the claims that chlorophyll can detoxify blood, provide energy and reduce body odor? Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2021 The materials repel or capture and detoxify contaminants like mercury, phosphorus and other heavy metals, permitting recovery of valuable nutrients and precious metals. Star Tribune, 21 Mar. 2021

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

circa 1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for detoxify

Time Traveler

The first known use of detoxify was circa 1905

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Dictionary Entries Near detoxify

detoxicate

detoxify

detract

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Statistics for detoxify

Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Detoxify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detoxify. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for detoxify

detoxify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of detoxify

: to remove a poisonous or harmful substance from (something)
: to cause (someone) to stop using drugs or alcohol by providing special help and treatment

detoxify

verb
de·​tox·​i·​fy | \ (ˈ)dē-ˈtäk-sə-ˌfī How to pronounce detoxify (audio) \
detoxified; detoxifying

Medical Definition of detoxify

transitive verb

1a : to remove a poison or toxin or the effect of such from
b : to render (a harmful substance) harmless
2 : to free (as a drug user or an alcoholic) from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance the clinic started detoxifying him by gradually lowering his dosage— J. M. Markham

intransitive verb

: to become free of addiction to a drug or alcohol

Other Words from detoxify

detoxification \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌtäk-​sə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce detoxify (audio) \ noun

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