neutralize

verb
neu·​tral·​ize | \ ˈnü-trə-ˌlīz How to pronounce neutralize (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Early testing shows the vaccines easily neutralize the B.1.1.7 variant, and while there is a South Africa strain that shows some resistance to the vaccine, the level of antibodies the vaccine produces should still be sufficient. Star Tribune, "New virus strains make the next six weeks crucial," 29 Jan. 2021 Both vaccines produce so many antibodies that a drop in activity could still leave enough antibodies to neutralize the virus. Sara Reardon, Scientific American, "The Most Worrying Mutations in Five Emerging Coronavirus Variants," 29 Jan. 2021 In both studies, the antibodies either failed to neutralize the South African variant or was significantly less able to do so. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Coronavirus vaccines may be less effective against South African strain, studies indicate," 22 Jan. 2021 One way to neutralize this balance is jumping out to an early lead. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Four keys to victory for Alabama and Ohio State in the College Football Playoff championship game," 12 Jan. 2021 Both steps require 60 votes to neutralize a filibuster. Fox News, "President Trump signs COVID relief, spending bill averting shutdown. So what happens now?," 28 Dec. 2020 This is in part due to the fact that there are multiple sites on the spike protein that antibodies can target to neutralize the virus. William Petri, The Conversation, "Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it protect against asymptomatic infections and mutated viruses? An immunologist answers 3 questions," 23 Dec. 2020 The crew of five (four weapon operators and a driver) are protected by the heavy tank chassis armor and Relikt reactive armor tiles designed to neutralize shaped charge warheads. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s Terminator Weapon Is Unquestionably Terrifying, Possibly Unnecessary," 3 Dec. 2020 Petrobras is pledging a 25% cut in carbon emissions by 2030, but that hasn’t stopped Chief Executive Officer Roberto Castello Branco from dismissing pledges by peers to completely neutralize their carbon footprints two decades later. Alex Longley, Bloomberg.com, "Oil Rises With U.S. Supply Dropping and OPEC Inching Toward Deal," 1 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of neutralize

1744, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about neutralize

Time Traveler for neutralize

Time Traveler

The first known use of neutralize was in 1744

See more words from the same year

Statistics for neutralize

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Neutralize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neutralize. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for neutralize

neutralize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of neutralize

: to stop (someone or something) from being effective or harmful
technical : 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 How to pronounce neutralize (audio) , 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 How to pronounce neutralize (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on neutralize

What made you want to look up neutralize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!