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or defuze

[dee-fyooz] /diˈfyuz/
verb (used with object), defused, defusing.
to remove the fuze from (a bomb, mine, etc.).
to make less dangerous, tense, or embarrassing:
to defuse a potentially ugly situation.
verb (used without object), defused, defusing.
to grow less dangerous; weaken.
Origin of defuse
First recorded in 1940-45; de- + fuse1
Related forms
defuser, noun
Can be confused
defuse, diffuse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for defuse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So we had our people in Gdynia defuse the thing after it was put on board the ship, but otherwise leave it entirely alone.

    One-Shot James Benjamin Blish
  • At one base I was waiting when they wheeled in a stretcher with the remains of an Englishman who had been trying to defuse a bomb.

  • The stem of the black alder of this country before mentioned as arriving to great size, is simply branching and defuse.

    The Journals of Lewis and Clark Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
British Dictionary definitions for defuse


verb (transitive)
to remove the triggering device of (a bomb, etc)
to remove the cause of tension from (a crisis, etc)
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 defuse

1943, from de- + fuse. Related: Defused; defusing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for defuse



To ease or eliminate the danger of something menacing •Extension of the 1940s use ''to remove the fuse from an unexploded bomb'': We might not stop it, but we might defuse it (1950s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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