re·​ac·​ti·​vate (ˌ)rē-ˈak-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce reactivate (audio)
reactivated; reactivating; reactivates
transitive : to activate (something or someone) again
… turning the dough (gently folding it over onto itself between the first and second rises) reactivates the yeast without pressing out as much air.Erika Bruce
: such as
: to restore (an organized group such as a military unit) to an active state (as from a state of disorganization or deactivation)
: to restore (an individual) to active duty
He was reactivated after 9/11 and sent to Afghanistan for a year.Pam Kragen
: to cause (something such as an industrial plant, society, program, or commission) to function again after a suspension of activity
Started in 1987 and reactivated two years ago, the Leadership Shelby County program takes the participants through the process of developing and launching efforts to improve the community.John Walker
psychology : to cause (something such as a repressed complex) to reappear in consciousness or behavior
Feelings of inferiority were reactivated by the experience.
medical : to cause (a quiescent disease) to become active again
tuberculosis that was reactivated by fatigue
intransitive : to become active again
… a painful nerve and skin disorder that occurs when the immune system weakens in older people and the virus, which never entirely leaves the body, reactivates.Alison L. Sprout

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Best Hair Loss Treatment Michiru Minoxidil Topical Solution Hair Regrowth Hair Treatment $30 at Target Credit: This formula stimulates hair growth by reactivating the follicles. Women's Health, 9 May 2023 This has forced Russia to reactivate obsolete T-54 and T-62 tanks. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 1 May 2023 Its massive 2022 summer stadium tour with Def Leppard brought in big bucks at the box office, so much so that it was reactivated for international dates this year. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 6 Apr. 2023 Toshin of Oversecured, who looked into the update, said although the exploits were removed, the underlying code was still there and could be reactivated to carry out attacks. Nectar Gan, CNN, 2 Apr. 2023 Still, even after his card was reactivated, Aiyer continued to make such fraudulent expenses. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Feb. 2023 Fox, 36, who completely deactivated her Instagram account last week after hinting at a potential breakup between her and 32-year-old Kelly (real name Colson Baker), shared a post after reactivating it stating that there was no cheating involved in the relationship. Wendy Geller, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2023 DeSantis last year pushed to reactivate the volunteer state guard to assist the Florida National Guard during emergencies. Jim Turner, Sun Sentinel, 7 Feb. 2023 Once complete, Spotify will email you a link giving the option to reactivate your account within seven days. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reactivate.' 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

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of reactivate was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near reactivate

Cite this Entry

“Reactivate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
re·​ac·​ti·​vate (ˈ)rē-ˈak-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce reactivate (audio)
reactivated; reactivating
: to activate again : cause to be again active or more active: as
: to cause (as a repressed complex) to reappear in consciousness or behavior
persecution feelings reactivated by new social failures
: to cause (a quiescent disease) to become active again in an individual
a herpes infection reactivated by physical and emotional stresses
: to restore complement to (an inactivated serum) by addition of fresh normal serum

More from Merriam-Webster on reactivate

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