neutralize

When you neutralize something, you make it harmless or ineffective — usually by applying its opposite force, like pouring water on a fire.

The world neutral was first used to describe a country that doesn’t take sides in a war, like Switzerland. There’s something kind of noble about a country that doesn’t participate in war by choice, but when we say something has been neutralized — that usually means that its power has been taken away from the outside.

Definitions of neutralize
  1. verb
    make ineffective by counterbalancing the effect of
    “Her optimism neutralizes his gloom”
    synonyms: negate, neutralise, nullify
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    type of:
    weaken
    lessen the strength of
  2. verb
    oppose and mitigate the effects of by contrary actions
    synonyms: counteract, counterbalance, countervail
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    types:
    override
    counteract the normal operation of (an automatic gear shift in a vehicle)
    type of:
    cancel, offset, set off
    make up for
  3. verb
    make incapable of military action
    synonyms: neutralise
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    type of:
    demilitarise, demilitarize
    do away with the military organization and potential of
  4. verb
    make politically neutral and thus inoffensive
    “The treaty neutralized the small republic”
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    types:
    co-opt
    neutralize or win over through assimilation into an established group
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  5. verb
    make chemically neutral
    “She neutralized the solution”
    synonyms: neutralise
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  6. verb
    get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing
    “the double agent was neutralized
    synonyms: do in, knock off, liquidate, neutralise, waste
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    type of:
    kill
    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
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