neutralize

verb

neu·​tral·​ize ˈnü-trə-ˌlīz How to pronounce neutralize (audio)
ˈnyü-
neutralized; neutralizing

transitive verb

1
: to make chemically neutral
2
a
: to counteract the activity or effect of : make ineffective
propaganda that is difficult to neutralize
b
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
neutralizer noun

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web In a bid to neutralize discontent, Mr. Putin said Wednesday that those called up would be paid on par with contract soldiers. Alina Lobzina, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2022 Down his two starting tackles, coach Brandon Staley said the Chargers tried to stay committed to the run in order to help neutralize the 49ers’ pass rush. Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 And the defense must neutralize running back/receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to put Garoppolo in tough situations. Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2022 The charcoal formula utilizes charcoal and baking soda to neutralize odor and fight bacteria. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Sep. 2022 Central to his ideology, Sowell sees the combination of federal aid and racialized rhetoric as a gateway drug to neutralize the working class and compromise Black family values, community economics, and sustainability. WIRED, 21 Sep. 2022 Rather than entice citizens with the possibility of riches, Xi offers them a predictable world in which thousands of algorithms neutralize threats and sand away frictions. Josh Chin, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2022 While a gloss can neutralize brassiness and boost your existing color, a glaze is usually sheer and primarily delivers moisturizing benefits to your hair. Dori Price, Good Housekeeping, 15 Aug. 2022 Two nights after being limited to 16 shots in a 7-0 loss in Denver, the Lightning rebounded by finally finding a way to neutralize the Avalanche’s speed and solve Kuemper to avoid falling to the brink of elimination. Fred Goodall, Chicago Tribune, 20 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1744, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of neutralize was in 1744

Dictionary Entries Near neutralize

Cite this Entry

“Neutralize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neutralize. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

neutralize

verb

neu·​tral·​ize ˈn(y)ü-trə-ˌlīz How to pronounce neutralize (audio)
neutralized; neutralizing
1
: to make chemically neutral
neutralize an acid with a base
2
: to make ineffective : nullify
neutralize an opponent's move
3
: to make electrically neutral by combining equal positive and negative quantities
4
: to make politically neutral
neutralize a country
neutralization
ˌn(y)ü-trə-lə-ˈzā-shən
noun
neutralizer
ˈn(y)ü-trə-ˌlī-zər
noun

Medical Definition

neutralize

verb

neu·​tral·​ize
variants also British neutralise
neutralized also British neutralised; neutralizing also British neutralising

transitive verb

1
: to make chemically neutral
2
a
: 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
neutralizer noun
also British neutraliser

More from Merriam-Webster on neutralize

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