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 Also, charcoal works to detoxify the hair, reducing flakiness and reducing build up of dirt and sebum on the hair and scalp. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2022 Made with salts that naturally soothe and detoxify the body, these are an easy way to take bath time to the next level. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, 28 Apr. 2022 Le Pen’s emphasis on buying power is in line with her work to detoxify her party since taking the reins from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the firebrand leader of what was then the National Front. Elaine Ganley, ajc, 3 Apr. 2022 Le Pen worked hard to detoxify her and her party’s image, casting herself as an empathetic economic populist. Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2022 If your goal this year is to detoxify your skin and get rid of acne, La Roche-Posay is here to help. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 This portable blanket will intensify calorie-burning workouts and promote recovery while also helping detoxify your body, relaxing your mind, boosting your mood, and stimulating the glow of your skin. Spin Contributor, SPIN, 28 Mar. 2022 In 2014, scientists discovered that crazy ants could survive exposure to fire ant venom 98 percent of the time by using their own formic acid to detoxify the venom. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 28 Mar. 2022 Children are at the greatest risk, as their bodies absorb lead more easily than adults, are more affected by low levels of lead, and are less able to detoxify themselves. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of detoxify

circa 1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for detoxify

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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

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for detoxify

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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