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[dee-tok-suh-fahy] /diˈtɒk sə faɪ/
verb (used with object), detoxified, detoxifying.
to rid of poison or the effect of poison.
to treat (a person addicted to alcohol or drugs) under a program of detoxification.
verb (used without object), detoxified, detoxifying.
to undergo detoxification.
Origin of detoxify
1900-05; detoxi(cate) + -fy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for detoxify
  • Many mammals have enzymes in their digestive tract that detoxify plants that would otherwise be harmful.
  • Without glutathione, the body's ability to detoxify itself is greatly impaired, leading to oxidative stress.
  • She said that the doctors who helped her detoxify from drug and alcohol addiction saved her from suicide.
  • Bacteria can detoxify chemicals in which heavy metals are present, though they cannot get rid of the heavy metals themselves.
British Dictionary definitions for detoxify


verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
to remove poison from; detoxicate
to treat (a person) for alcoholism or drug addiction
Derived Forms
detoxification, noun
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 detoxify

1905; see de- + toxic + -fy. Earlier in the same sense was detoxicate (1867).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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detoxify in Medicine

detoxify de·tox·i·fy (dē-tŏk'sə-fī')
v. de·tox·i·fied, de·tox·i·fy·ing, de·tox·i·fies

  1. To counteract or destroy the toxic properties of a substance.

  2. To remove the effects of poison from something, such as the blood.

  3. To treat a person for alcohol or drug dependence, usually under a medically supervised program designed to rid the body of intoxicating or addictive substances.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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