from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To upset the stability or smooth functioning of: a policy that threatens to destabilize the economy; a new weapon that threatens to destabilize nuclear deterrence.
  • transitive v. To undermine the power of (a government or leader) by subversive or terrorist acts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make something unstable.
  • v. To undermine a government, especially by means of subversion or terrorism.
  • v. To become unstable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make unstable
  • v. become unstable


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • PLANTE: So the "Washington Post" is reporting this morning that there are members of the Bush administration that are interested in putting together something of an orchestrated program to apply pressure to the Iranian regime in an effort to destabilize, that is the word used, perhaps in the hope that over the long term, that a popular uprising in this very youthful nation that is currently led by, for the most part, elderly Islamic clerics, may topple in the face of popular descent -- Fredricka.

    CNN Transcript May 25, 2003

  • Mr. Matonga said those receiving funds from the U.S. were also working to "destabilize" the government.

    Zimbabwe Opposition Figure

  • Fahim insisted the bomb attack was designed to "destabilize" the region, not just eliminate him.

    Afghan Minister Escapes Assassination Bid

  • For months Bush has been flayed by editorial pages in the United States and Europe for pushing a plan that, his critics argue, will "destabilize" the old balance of terror and stimulate a new arms race.

    Dropping The Bomb

  • The government and its proxies have taken to referring to Burma, which they call the Union of Myanmar, as "the motherland" and exhorting citizens to have "Union spirit" in the face of foreigners trying to "destabilize" the nation.

    Yes, Big Brother Is Watching

  • The charge also alleged Kunonga aimed to "destabilize" Mugabe's opponents in the 2002 presidential election campaign.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Yeah, right, we shouldn't "destabilize" the Middle East.

    Daimnation!: It's fiskin' time! As it

  • So wars really kind of destabilize the old boundaries and create the possibility for radical change.

    The Story of American Freedom

  • The White House rationalized the drift in policy toward America's former major rival by saying that things weren't stable enough yet for aid to be useful, while US protests against repression could "destabilize" the Soviet Union further.

    Bush Abroad

  • The purpose here is to inflate the importance of what is going on in an attempt by outside forces to 'destabilize' the region - after which those behind it will expand their zone of control militarily; the goal being to gain control of ALL BORDERS WITH GAZA, the world's largest open air prison.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion


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