verb (used with object), de·sta·bi·lized, de·sta·bi·liz·ing.

to make unstable; rid of stabilizing attributes: conflicts that tend to destabilize world peace.

Also especially British, de·sta·bi·lise.

Origin of destabilize

First recorded in 1930–35; de- + stabilize
Related formsde·sta·bi·li·za·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for destabilization

Contemporary Examples of destabilization

  • “They all have one objective: destabilization in order to ‘prepare’ for the elections in autumn,” he said.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is This Putin’s Next Target?

    Josh Rogin

    May 23, 2014

  • “This request went in right after the Russians seized Crimea before the destabilization campaign in the east started,” he said.

  • They see this process as one in which destabilization of the existing order is not only necessary but inevitable.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The New World Disorder

    Joshua Cooper Ramo

    April 7, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for destabilization




(tr) to undermine or subvert (a government, economy, etc) so as to cause unrest or collapse
Derived Formsdestabilization or destabilisation, 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

Word Origin and History for destabilization



1934 in a physical sense; earlier (1924) with reference to political systems, governments, nations, etc.; see de- + stabilize. Related: Destabilized; destabilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper