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defuse

[dee-fyooz] /diˈfyuz/
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
1940-1945
1940-45; de- + fuse1
Related forms
defuser, noun
Can be confused
defuse, diffuse.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

defuse

/diːˈfjuːz/
verb (transitive)
1.
to remove the triggering device of (a bomb, etc)
2.
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
v.

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

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

defuse

verb

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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