de·​vi·​tal·​ize (ˌ)dē-ˈvī-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce devitalize (audio)
devitalized; devitalizing; devitalizes

transitive verb

: to deprive of life, vigor, or effectiveness

Examples of devitalize in a Sentence

overuse has devitalized many a once-striking figure of speech she was devitalized by the infection
Recent Examples on the Web This can devitalize the plant to the point of it starting to die back. oregonlive, 5 Feb. 2023 Miller’s writing début may have been precipitated by her assault, but the final work devitalizes its horrific beginnings. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2019 His lip was completely destroyed with multiple linear lacerations, jagged lacerations, devitalized tissue, denervated tissue with a 12 cm laceration in multiple pieces of the entire left upper lift, the mucosal surface, and orbicularis. Edmund H. Mahony,, 1 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'devitalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of devitalize was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near devitalize

Cite this Entry

“Devitalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants or British devitalise
devitalized or British devitalised; devitalizing or British devitalising
: to deprive of life or vitality: as
: to refine (as foodstuffs) to the point that essential or desirable constituents are lost
: to subject (a tooth or its pulp) to devitalization
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