verb (used with object), denatured, denaturing.
to deprive (something) of its natural character, properties, etc.
to render (any of various alcohols) unfit for drinking by adding an unwholesome substance that does not alter usefulness for other purposes.
Biochemistry. to treat (a protein or the like) by chemical or physical means so as to alter its original state.
to make (fissionable material) unsuitable for use in an atomic weapon by mixing it with unfissionable material.

1675–85; de- + nature

denaturant, noun
denaturation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To denature
World English Dictionary
denature, denaturize or denaturise (diːˈneɪtʃə, diːˈneɪtʃəˌraɪz)
1.  to change the nature of
2.  to change (a protein) by chemical or physical means, such as the action of acid or heat, to cause loss of solubility, biological activity, etc
3.  to render (something, such as ethanol) unfit for consumption by adding nauseous substances
4.  to render (fissile material) unfit for use in nuclear weapons by addition of an isotope
denaturize, denaturize or denaturise
denaturise, denaturize or denaturise
de'naturant, denaturize or denaturise
denatur'ation, denaturize or denaturise

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

1878, from Fr. dénaturer, from O.Fr. desnaturer; see de- + nature. Related: Denatured (1878).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

denature de·na·ture (dē-nā'chər)
v. de·na·tured, de·na·tur·ing, de·na·tures

  1. To change the nature or natural qualities of.

  2. To render unfit to eat or drink without destroying usefulness in other applications, especially adding methyl alcohol to ethyl alcohol.

  3. To alter the chemical structure of a protein, as with heat, alkali, or acid, so that some of its original properties, especially its biological activity, are diminished or eliminated.

de·na'tur·a'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
denature   (dē-nā'chər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. To cause the tertiary structure of a protein to unfold, as with heat, alkali, or acid, so that some of its original properties, especially its biological activity, are diminished or eliminated.

  2. To cause the paired strands of DNA to separate into individual strands.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Since collagen itself is a really long, complicated molecule, it takes a long time for it to actually denature and hydrolyze.
The effect is to denature the original testimony, removing any sense of urgency it may have once had.
Urea and tannic acid to denature the adhesive component of fish eggs.
Many disrupt cell membranes, many denature proteins including enzymes, others are oxidizing agents.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature