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[in-ak-tuh-veyt] /ɪnˈæk təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), inactivated, inactivating.
to make inactive:
The bomb was inactivated.
Immunology. to stop the activity of (certain biological substances).
Origin of inactivate
1905-10; inactive + -ate1
Related forms
inactivation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for inactivate
  • Ultraviolet radiation from the sun and a temperature increase inside the bottles inactivate pathogens, making it safe to drink.
  • The researchers tried again, but used a short-lived protein switch to inactivate the genes.
  • The consequence is to inactivate the gene being methylated.
  • Others generate powerful enzymes that inactivate the drugs.
  • As an added safety feature, the virus is designed to inactivate itself after it delivers its payload.
  • It uses electrical pulses to inactivate bacteria by poking holes in their cell walls.
  • Scientists purify and inactivate the harvested protein so that it can stimulate an immune response without causing an infection.
  • Gene targeting allows researchers to inactivate individual genes.
  • Sprays that contain these chemicals are not anesthetics, but they are used to inactivate the sensitive areas.
  • If a sole owner ceases to do business, the owner may wish to cancel or inactivate the license.
British Dictionary definitions for inactivate


(transitive) to render inactive
Derived Forms
inactivation, 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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inactivate in Medicine

inactivate in·ac·ti·vate (ĭn-āk'tə-vāt')
v. in·ac·ti·vat·ed, in·ac·ti·vat·ing, in·ac·ti·vates

  1. To render nonfunctional.

  2. To make quiescent.

in·ac'ti·va'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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