destabilize

To destabilize something is to undermine it, or to make it much less stable. Seeming uncertain or confused can destabilize a teacher's ability to control a class.

Political protesters might seek to destabilize a government or other institution, and lying to your best friend can destabilize your relationship. In both cases, the underlying stability of a situation is shaken, or made less sturdy. The earliest use of destabilize was in a physical sense, if something was literally unstable or shaky. By the 1920s, the word came to also have a more political meaning.

Definitions of destabilize
  1. verb
    make unstable
    “Terrorism destabilized the government”
    synonyms: destabilise
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    Antonyms:
    stabilise, stabilize
    make stable and keep from fluctuating or put into an equilibrium
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  2. verb
    become unstable
    “The economy destabilized rapidly”
    synonyms: destabilise
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    Antonyms:
    stabilise, stabilize
    become stable or more stable
    type of:
    change
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
Word Family