Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To make neutral.
  • transitive verb To counterbalance or counteract the effect of; render ineffective.
  • transitive verb To declare neutral and therefore inviolable during a war.
  • transitive verb To make (a solution) neutral.
  • transitive verb To cause (an acid or base) to undergo neutralization.
  • transitive verb Medicine To counteract the effect of (a drug or toxin).
  • transitive verb Slang To remove as a threat, especially by killing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In motor-racing, to give a neutral character to (a town or to a specified part of a road), that is, to arrange that the time used in passing through or over it is not to be counted in the race.
  • To render neutral; reduce to a state of neutrality between different parties Or opinions.
  • In chem., to destroy or render inert or imperceptible the peculiar properties of, by chemical combination. See neutralization, 1.
  • To render inoperative; invalidate; nullify; counterbalance: as, to neutralize opposition.
  • Also spelled neutralise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To render neutral; to reduce to a state of neutrality.
  • transitive verb (Chem.) To render inert or imperceptible the peculiar affinities of, as a chemical substance; to destroy the effect of.
  • transitive verb To destroy the peculiar properties or opposite dispositions of; to reduce to a state of indifference or inefficiency; to counteract; to render ineffective

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb American Alternative spelling of neutralise.

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

  • verb get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing
  • verb make politically neutral and thus inoffensive
  • verb make chemically neutral
  • verb make incapable of military action
  • verb make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of
  • verb oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

neutral +‎ -ize

Examples

  • The freedom of the press should be thus far restricted; so that when a man publicly proclaims through the far-sounding trumpet of the newspaper, he should be answerable for it, at any rate with his honor, if he has any; and if he has none, let his name neutralize the effect of his words.

    The Art of Literature

  • (However, while ominous in tone, the term "neutralize" -- as used by government agents -- was never really defined.)

    John W. Whitehead: Who Killed John Lennon?

  • Are we really going to stay in Iraq until we "neutralize" -- i.e. blow to pieces or imprison in Abu Ghraib -- every Iraqi who isn't keen on our notion of a unified, multi-sectarian, pro American, pro Western, anti-Islamist Iraq?

    Tim Dickinson: Doubling Down in Iraq

  • Tense talks over U.S. plans to build a defense shield in Eastern Europe, with Russia now vowing to "neutralize" -- "neutralize" -- the proposed system.

    CNN Transcript Oct 12, 2007

  • It was during the Phoenix Program that the word "neutralize" -- meaning assassinate -- originated as part of the vocabulary of the U.S. military and intelligence operations.

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

  • It was during the Phoenix Program that the word "neutralize" -- meaning assassinate -- originated as part of the vocabulary of the U.S. military and intelligence operations.

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

  • The same firm was also proposing, for Bank of America, a plot to destroy Wikileaks, and to "neutralize" constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com.

    The Yes Men: Could the Chamber of Commerce Leak Scandal Rouse America's "Facebook Generation"?

  • The same firm was also proposing, for Bank of America, a plot to destroy Wikileaks, and to "neutralize" constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com.

    The Yes Men: Could the Chamber of Commerce Leak Scandal Rouse America's "Facebook Generation"?

  • Turkish leaders are convinced that the only strategy that could 'neutralize' Iran's nuclear weapons potential is comprehensive negotiations with Iran (as Tehran proposed in April 2003) that would cover all manner of security issues of concern to Iran, the US, and regional parties.

    Michael Brenner: A Taste of Turkish Delight

  • Turkish leaders are convinced that the only strategy that could 'neutralize' Iran's nuclear weapons potential is comprehensive negotiations with Iran (as Tehran proposed in April 2003) that would cover all manner of security issues of concern to Iran, the US, and regional parties.

    Michael Brenner: A Taste of Turkish Delight

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A cleverly deceptive euphemism for "kill."

    April 30, 2007