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verb (used with object), de·tox·i·fied, de·tox·i·fy·ing.
  1. to rid of poison or the effect of poison.
  2. to treat (a person addicted to alcohol or drugs) under a program of detoxification.
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verb (used without object), de·tox·i·fied, de·tox·i·fy·ing.
  1. to undergo detoxification.
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Origin of detoxify

First recorded in 1900–05; detoxi(cate) + -fy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for detoxify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to remove poison from; detoxicate
  2. to treat (a person) for alcoholism or drug addiction
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Derived Formsdetoxification, 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 detoxify


1905; see de- + toxic + -fy. Earlier in the same sense was detoxicate (1867).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

detoxify in Medicine


  1. To counteract or destroy the toxic properties of a substance.
  2. To remove the effects of poison from something, such as the blood.
  3. To treat a person for alcohol or drug dependence, usually under a medically supervised program designed to rid the body of intoxicating or addictive substances.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.