Definition of detoxify
1a : to remove a harmful substance (such as a poison or toxin) or the effect of such fromb : 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
3 : neutralize 2
detoxificationplay \(ˌ)dē-ˌtäk-sə-fə-ˈkā-shən\ noun
detoxify was our Word of the Day on 04/15/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of detoxify in a Sentence
a special tea that is supposed to detoxify the body
a drug addict who is being detoxified
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).
First Known Use of detoxify
DETOXIFY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of detoxify for English Language Learners
: to remove a poisonous or harmful substance from (something)
: to cause (someone) to stop using drugs or alcohol by providing special help and treatment
Medical Definition of detoxify
transitive verba: to remove a poison or toxin or the effect of such fromb: 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
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