defuse

[dee-fyooz]
verb (used with object), defused, defusing.
1.
to remove the fuze from (a bomb, mine, etc.).
2.
to make less dangerous, tense, or embarrassing: to defuse a potentially ugly situation.
verb (used without object), defused, defusing.
3.
to grow less dangerous; weaken.
Also, defuze.


Origin:
1940–45; de- + fuse1

defuser, noun

defuse, diffuse.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
defuse or sometimes (US) defuze (diːˈfjuːz)
 
vb
1.  to remove the triggering device of (a bomb, etc)
2.  to remove the cause of tension from (a crisis, etc)
 
 
defuze or sometimes (US) defuze
 
vb
 

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

defuse
1943, from de- + fuse.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The administration wants to defuse resistance to the new law by granting
  waivers to maintain minimal coverage.
They are hoping that targeted subsidies will defuse the anger of the hauliers,
  who were crucial to the last protests.
Police arm themselves with it to defuse volatile situations.
Gimbel thought the fountain should have a reflective surface, but with some
  texture to defuse glare.
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