9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dee-fyooz] /diˈfyuz/
verb (used with object), defused, defusing.
to remove the fuze from (a bomb, mine, etc.).
to make less dangerous, tense, or embarrassing:
to defuse a potentially ugly situation.
verb (used without object), defused, defusing.
to grow less dangerous; weaken.
Origin of defuse
1940-45; de- + fuse1
Related forms
defuser, noun
Can be confused
defuse, diffuse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for defuse
  • 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.
  • He says it's not uncommon for established organizations to take action to try and defuse a particularly durable urban myth.
  • In making the announcement, the professors wanted to defuse.
  • So he is likely to try to defuse disputes about morality.
  • In theory, winemakers can defuse the threat by simply shifting production to more congenial locations.
  • The move to map college campuses may be a way to defuse these worries.
  • Recorded lectures also could help defuse some of the hostility aimed at academics these days.
British Dictionary definitions for defuse


verb (transitive)
to remove the triggering device of (a bomb, etc)
to remove the cause of tension from (a crisis, etc)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defuse

1943, from de- + fuse. Related: Defused; defusing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for defuse



To ease or eliminate the danger of something menacing •Extension of the 1940s use ''to remove the fuse from an unexploded bomb'': We might not stop it, but we might defuse it (1950s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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