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

Related Words for destabilize

diminish, thwart, lessen, undermine, minimize, foil, damage

Examples from the Web for destabilize

Contemporary Examples of destabilize

Historical Examples of destabilize

  • To convince the West of the quality of its wares, China demonstrates its capacity to destabilize in various corners of the world.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for destabilize




(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 destabilize

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