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

Examples of reactivate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The justices had to decide whether that means a bump stock allows the weapon to be continually fired once the shooter depresses the trigger or whether the trigger is reactivated by the shooter between every shot. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, 14 June 2024 In 1942, the all-Black 93rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army was reactivated and, once trained, sent to the South Pacific during World War II. Lorenzino Estrada, The Arizona Republic, 15 May 2024 These hormone changes may reactivate HSV. Stress: Chronic (long-term) stress weakens your immune system, which protects you against viruses like HSV. Jennifer Sabour, Health, 5 May 2024 In practical terms, this works because spores only reactivate once nutritional conditions are sufficiently promising. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 30 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for reactivate 

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 16 Jul. 2024.

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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