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[noo-truh-lahyz, nyoo-] /ˈnu trəˌlaɪz, ˈnyu-/
verb (used with object), neutralized, neutralizing.
to make neutral; cause to undergo neutralization.
to make (something) ineffective; counteract; nullify:
carelessness that neutralized our efforts.
Military. to put out of action or make incapable of action:
to neutralize an enemy position.
to declare neutral; invest with neutrality in order to exempt from involvement during a war:
to neutralize a city to prevent bombing.
to add an acid to a basic solution or a base to an acidic solution until the resulting solution is chemically neutral (pH = 7).
Electricity. to render electrically or magnetically neutral.
verb (used without object), neutralized, neutralizing.
to become neutral or neutralized; undergo neutralization:
With this additive the solution begins to neutralize.
Also, especially British, neutralise.
Origin of neutralize
First recorded in 1655-65; neutral + -ize
Related forms
neutralizer, noun
overneutralize, verb (used with object), overneutralized, overneutralizing.
overneutralizer, noun
reneutralize, verb, reneutralized, reneutralizing.
unneutralize, verb (used with object), unneutralized, unneutralizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for neutralize


verb (mainly transitive)
(also intransitive) to render or become ineffective or neutral by counteracting, mixing, etc; nullify
(also intransitive) to make or become electrically or chemically neutral
to exclude (a country) from the sphere of warfare or alliances by international agreement: the great powers neutralized Belgium in the 19th century
to render (an army) incapable of further military action
Derived Forms
neutralization, neutralisation, noun
neutralizer, neutraliser, 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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Word Origin and History for neutralize

1734, "to render neutral" (in a chemical sense), from French neutraliser (17c.), from neutral (see neutral (adj.)). Meaning "to counterbalance, to kill by opposing" is from 1795. Related: Neutralized; neutralizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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neutralize in Science
To cause an acidic solution to become neutral by adding a base to it or to cause a basic solution to become neutral by adding an acid to it. Salt and water are usually formed in the process.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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