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

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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 There’s also the Prairie Facemask ($18; borealfolk.ca), which uses clay from what were once ocean beds in the Canadian prairies to help detoxify and clean the skin. Fiona Tapp, CNN Underscored, "7 Canadian brands leading the natural skin care trend," 3 Nov. 2020 Ostensibly, because many brands share factories, even the big brands who do nothing to detoxify their supply chain get a free ride on the detox train when another brand tells a factory to clean up its act. Alden Wicker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Just How Harmful are the Chemicals in Your Clothes?," 16 Oct. 2020 Certain greens — ferns, palms, and ivy to name a few — also detoxify the air around you, too. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "12 Air Purifying Plants That Will Give Your Home a Breath of Fresh Air," 2 June 2020 The original property in Tucson is famous for its detoxifying herbal treatments. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "John Goff’s real estate firm skips mortgage payments on famed Canyon Ranch resorts," 31 May 2020 Springtails, which branched off from the insects about half a billion years ago, host a slew of enzymes that detoxify any Streptomyces antibiotics. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Here's the Weird Thing That Causes the Smell of Spring," 14 Apr. 2020 This allows the brain to rest, detoxify and rejuvenate. Satchin Panda, The Conversation, "Beyond sanitizing and social distancing – a healthy circadian rhythm may keep you sane and increase resilience to fight COVID-19," 7 Apr. 2020 His program, which includes a very strict dietary regimen and expensive supplements, claims to detoxify the body of disease and restore alkalinity (no scientific research is available to support his claims). Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Dr. Sebi Diet, According to a Registered Dietitian," 17 Mar. 2020 Bioré Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips pairs that clearing power with charcoal, which has detoxifying properties. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "How to Get Rid of Blackheads the Right Way," 30 Jan. 2020

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

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The first known use of detoxify was circa 1905

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Cite this Entry

“Detoxify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detoxify. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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

Comments on detoxify

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