Definition of dematerialize in US English:


(British dematerialise)


[no object]
  • 1Become free of physical substance; cease to have material character or qualities.

    ‘the kiss dematerializes into a kind of spiritual rebirth’
    • ‘Radio words dematerialize, lost the moment they're uttered.’
    • ‘Many reports have come back that the Plates ‘disappear’ or actually dematerialize.’
    1. 1.1 (in science fiction) disappear or cease to be physically present through some imagined technological process.
      ‘he watched the time machine dematerialize’
      • ‘The figure watched them go and dematerialized into the wind once again with a sinister laugh.’
      • ‘He immediately dematerializes, causing her punch to miss, and pulling her off balance.’
      • ‘With that he dematerialized once again and disappeared, obviously happy that he didn't have to hide any longer.’
      • ‘‘Thanks, we'd appreciate that,’ she replied, putting the new books and bottles inside the trunk and dematerializing it once again.’
      • ‘Specters sometimes drifted throughout the area, watching him with disconcertingly blank faces of incorporeal ectoplasm and dematerializing seconds later.’
      • ‘Lynx walked further into the waves, dematerializing into his water form.’
      disappear, vanish, evaporate, dissolve, melt away, melt into thin air, be dispelled
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with object Replace (physical records or certificates) with a paperless computerized system.
      ‘a dematerialized stock lending service’
      • ‘What was solid fact on Sunday had dematerialised by Monday.’
      • ‘The proliferation of chat rooms and discussion boards, including our own, tends to encourage investors to talk grandly of all the new and exciting possibilities that a ‘dematerialising’ economy can offer.’
      • ‘The distinction between a material and dematerialized economy is, I think, a false one.’
      • ‘If securities are represented by a global note or are dematerialized, then bailment is not an appropriate characterization, even in the simplest of cases governed by English law.’