Definition of deactivate in US English:



  • 1with object Make (something, typically technical equipment or a virus) inactive by disconnecting or destroying it.

    ‘the switch deactivates the alarm’
    • ‘The council is also reminding local people that when they go on holiday they will not be able to deactivate their burglar alarm if it is falsely triggered.’
    • ‘Some approaches include a ‘killed’ vaccine, which means deactivating the virus so it can do no harm.’
    • ‘It will deactivate any drones or tracking weapons that get too close.’
    • ‘Two of the members of the squad have already bagged the gallantry medal for deactivating a live explosive which was planted in a Police quarters.’
    • ‘It is said that certain music will deactivate brain cells, which is the root cause of negative thoughts.’
    • ‘He pressed the switch to deactivate the program, then his weapons faded and he opened the door.’
    • ‘Kevin ran to a computer and deactivated the shields and weapons.’
    • ‘Gen. Deddy S. Komarudin said later in the day the incident was purely an accident, and no other parties were involved in deactivating the grenade.’
    • ‘Then without even giving a proper bill of charges, they went ahead and deactivated my connection since I had allegedly exceeded my calling value.’
    • ‘If vegetables or herbs are blanched before they are frozen, this deactivates enzymes and ‘sets' their colour.’
    • ‘This will speed deactivating the phone if it was stolen.’
    • ‘The survey also showed most parents were unaware that child car seats should never be used on any seat fitted with an airbag unless the airbag is deactivated.’
    • ‘Whatever controls were on, she has deactivated them and reinstalled her own.’
    • ‘The power to the building went out, thus deactivating the servers, the cable connection was down and none of the IT staff could get to the office to handle the crisis.’
    • ‘At the last possible second, when Eusi saw that the Vanguard had not made a single move to power up its weapons or shields, she deactivated the blades.’
    • ‘Once they walked away, the polling officer would deactivate the machine and their vote would be recorded as a ‘no’ vote.’
    • ‘It may have been that the transponder was deactivated in order to keep a pilot from raising the alarm.’
    • ‘He led Jess out by her good arm, stopping at the front of the bar to deactivate the alarm system.’
    • ‘Assuming I can find all the motion sensors, I can deactivate them.’
    • ‘The prison guards had deactivated the emergency call buttons in the solitary cells.’
    inactive, inert, latent, fallow, passive, idle, at rest, inoperative, deactivated, in abeyance, quiet
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    1. 1.1Military Remove from active duty.
      • ‘The Army Air Defense Command was deactivated nationwide that year and with it came the end of Fort Hancock's military status.’
      • ‘With the signal battalion deactivated, the burden of managing the installation, operation and maintenance of communications systems did not fall on the shoulders of the BTB.’
      • ‘Following this action the 5th Ranger Battalion finished the war serving as conventional infantry or guard forces, and were finally deactivated in October of 1945.’
      • ‘On 1 October 1993, the 46th Fighter Training Squadron was deactivated when the active duty Air Force took control of all fighter replacement training.’