Definition of defuse in English:



  • 1 Remove the fuse from (an explosive device) in order to prevent it from exploding.

    ‘explosives specialists tried to defuse the grenade’
    • ‘A bomb squad arrived, along with officers from the police's Mobile Brigade, and defused the bombs that were equipped with timers.’
    • ‘Earlier Tuesday, rebels manning the blockade ambushed an army truck, killing at least four soldiers and wounding two others shortly after troops defused a roadside bomb, officials said.’
    • ‘After the first three blasts, disposal experts tried to defuse a fourth bomb but failed, and it exploded, injuring one officer.’
    • ‘Many of the policemen injured had gathered to see the device being defused.’
    • ‘The demolitions expert defused the bomb about 10 minutes later.’
    • ‘A tourist attraction to open in France will invite visitors to race a motorised gondola, crack a safe and save the world from destruction by defusing a nuclear bomb.’
    • ‘Detectives defused the bomb, which was found under a pot plant outside the pub.’
    • ‘Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry about which wire to cut.’
    • ‘Security guards patrolling the area informed police, who in turn notified the Bomb Disposal Unit, who defused the explosive device.’
    • ‘At around 9.30 pm, the explosive disposal squad was in place to defuse the bomb.’
    • ‘Grimly, he picked up a manual on defusing explosive devices and began to skim through it, just in case.’
    • ‘Some competitors had already passed the part of the route where army explosives experts were brought in to defuse a live device.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, bomb experts were defusing a hand grenade found near a Buddhist temple when a second grenade exploded about 50 metres away, wounding three people.’
    • ‘The device was defused by police bomb disposal experts.’
    • ‘He summoned the police, the van turned out to be packed full of a terrorist's explosives, and the bombs were defused.’
    • ‘Police don't know whether he was trying to defuse the bomb, or whether he deliberately detonated it, killing himself.’
    • ‘The army began searching the area on Friday and is defusing explosive devices strewn around the area by the blasts.’
    • ‘How on earth do you defuse these tricky devices?’
    • ‘For months even men defusing bombs had no protection against blast because they worked without bullet-proof vests.’
    • ‘One died this morning, trying to defuse an improvised explosive device.’
    deactivate, disarm, disable, make safe
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    1. 1.1Make (a situation) less tense or dangerous.
      ‘a scheme that teaches officers how to defuse potentially explosive situations’
      • ‘It is learnt that more changes in the civil administration are also in the offing as part of the ongoing efforts to defuse the tense situation.’
      • ‘The ploy was intended to defuse tensions and pre-empt a possible rebellion in the Campo.’
      • ‘Disraeli saw its dangers and wished to take steps to quickly defuse the gathering tensions.’
      • ‘The alternate is that the nuclear crisis should be defused peacefully through dialogue.’
      • ‘I can't help thinking that if Chuck were alive, he would have handled this unsavory, unneighborly encounter much better than I, for he was an expert at defusing tense situations.’
      • ‘What means have our rulers employed to defuse anger over fiscal privileges?’
      • ‘Acknowledge their behaviour to defuse confrontation and to help prevent a recurrence.’
      • ‘But he was trotted out for the media and expertly defused what was an overblown tiff.’
      • ‘The situation was defused by quick-thinking American officers who had their men take a knee, visibly disarm, and then back off slowly.’
      • ‘With their friendly but firm goodwill and common sense they were able to defuse many potentially dangerous situations and undoubtedly saved many lives.’
      • ‘King Frederick William IV, who was crowned in 1840, defused the situation.’
      • ‘Honest and timely disclosure may defuse anger when people feel that information is not being withheld.’
      • ‘With a joke and a smile he was able to defuse many a tense situation and his presence in any room was unmistakable.’
      • ‘To some, it seemed like both men's actions were crucial in defusing a potentially explosive situation.’
      • ‘If we don't defuse these time bombs quickly, they will quite literally explode in our faces one morning as we open the newspapers.’
      • ‘Now he is trying to defuse the crisis that the warmongers have created.’
      • ‘Can they defuse the crisis in time to avert a potential nuclear war?’
      • ‘Back then it was Deacon's intervention which helped defuse the row.’
      reduce, lessen, diminish, lighten, relieve, ease, alleviate, allay, moderate, mitigate, take the edge off
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On the potential confusion between defuse and diffuse, see diffuse