neutralize

verb
neu·​tral·​ize | \ˈnü-trə-ˌlīz, ˈnyü-\
neutralized; neutralizing

Definition of neutralize 

transitive verb

1 : to make chemically neutral

2a : to counteract the activity or effect of : make ineffective propaganda that is difficult to neutralize

b : kill, destroy

3 : to make electrically inert by combining equal positive and negative quantities

4 : to invest (a territory, a nation, etc.) with conventional or obligatory neutrality conferring inviolability during a war

5 : to make neutral by blending with the complementary color

6 : to give (a pair of phonemes) a nondistinctive form or pronunciation \t\ and \d\ are neutralized when pronounced as flaps

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Other Words from neutralize

neutralizer noun

Examples of neutralize in a Sentence

The soldiers tried to neutralize the attack by dividing the invading army. This medicine neutralizes stomach acids. The lands between the warring countries were neutralized.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Friendship with a difficult person can help neutralize hate. The Christian Science Monitor, "Macron’s embrace of Trump, not Trumpism," 25 Apr. 2018 Those researchers are working from the knowledge that a class of immune cell called a broadly neutralizing antibody can prevent infection with a major strain of HIV. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 1 June 2018 Green finds a way to neutralize Randolph and Lucas' ability to score is a bit too much for Cleaves to handle. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Who wins if Detroit Pistons, Michigan, MSU created localBig3 league?," 11 July 2018 Each bar contains cleansing agents and the same ingredients that your typical bottle of shampoo calls out for specific hair types, like juniper oil to neutralize oily hair and sea salt to liven up fine hair. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Lush Sold 12,000 Shampoo Bars in Just Two Days Thanks to a Viral Video," 12 June 2018 Still, Peterson's apparent lack of action is surprising: Decades ago, lone officers used to wait for SWAT teams to arrive to neutralize active shooters. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, "Fight, flight or freeze? Officers rarely fail to confront threat, experts say," 23 Feb. 2018 That balancing act has prompted debate over whether Mohammed is more interested in bringing about a tolerant state or in consolidating power by neutralizing possible challengers. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia’s once-powerful conservatives silenced by reforms and repression," 5 June 2018 That balancing act has prompted debate over whether Mohammed is more interested in bringing about a tolerant state or in consolidating power by neutralizing possible challengers. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Once-powerful Saudi conservatives losing clout," 5 June 2018 Active Shooter, which Valve Software removed from Steam earlier this week, describes itself as a simulation of an active shooter situation, where players can opt to be either the killer or the SWAT team tasked with neutralizing the situation. Chris Morris, Fortune, "'Active Shooter' Video Game May Still See the Light of Day, Developer Says," 31 May 2018

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

1744, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for neutralize

The first known use of neutralize was in 1744

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More Definitions for neutralize

neutralize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of neutralize

: to stop (someone or something) from being effective or harmful

: to cause (a chemical) to be neither an acid nor a base

: to make (something, such as a country or area) neutral during a war

neutralize

verb
neu·​tral·​ize | \ˈnü-trə-ˌlīz, ˈnyü-\
neutralized; neutralizing

Kids Definition of neutralize

1 : to make chemically neutral An acid is neutralized with lime.

2 : to make ineffective Good pitching will neutralize the other team's hitters.

neutralize

verb
neu·​tral·​ize
variants: also British neutralise \ ˈn(y)ü-​trə-​ˌlīz \
neutralized also British neutralised; neutralizing also British neutralising

Medical Definition of neutralize 

transitive verb

1 : to make chemically neutral

2a : to counteract the activity or effect of : make ineffective

b : to counteract the refractive power of (a lens) by combining it with one or more other lenses

3 : to make electrically inert by combining equal positive and negative quantities

Other Words from neutralize

neutralizer also British neutraliser noun

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