- to deprive (something) of its natural character, properties, etc.
- to render (any of various alcohols) unfit for drinking by adding an unwholesome substance that does not alter usefulness for other purposes.
- Biochemistry. to treat (a protein or the like) by chemical or physical means so as to alter its original state.
- to make (fissionable material) unsuitable for use in an atomic weapon by mixing it with unfissionable material.
Origin of denature
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for denaturation
There was therefore not only a denaturation, but an enervation of our poetry.
denaturize or denaturise (diːˈneɪtʃəˌraɪz)
- to change the nature of
- to change (a protein) by chemical or physical means, such as the action of acid or heat, to cause loss of solubility, biological activity, etc
- to render (something, such as ethanol) unfit for consumption by adding nauseous substances
- to render (fissile material) unfit for use in nuclear weapons by addition of an isotope
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
Word Origin and History for denaturation
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- To change the nature or natural qualities of.
- To render unfit to eat or drink without destroying usefulness in other applications, especially adding methyl alcohol to ethyl alcohol.
- To alter the chemical structure of a protein, as with heat, alkali, or acid, so that some of its original properties, especially its biological activity, are diminished or eliminated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- To cause the tertiary structure of a protein to unfold, as with heat, alkali, or acid, so that some of its original properties, especially its biological activity, are diminished or eliminated.
- To cause the paired strands of DNA to separate into individual strands.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.