[noo-truh-lahyz, nyoo-]
verb (used with object), neu·tral·ized, neu·tral·iz·ing.
  1. to make neutral; cause to undergo neutralization.
  2. to make (something) ineffective; counteract; nullify: carelessness that neutralized our efforts.
  3. Military. to put out of action or make incapable of action: to neutralize an enemy position.
  4. to declare neutral; invest with neutrality in order to exempt from involvement during a war: to neutralize a city to prevent bombing.
  5. to add an acid to a basic solution or a base to an acidic solution until the resulting solution is chemically neutral (pH = 7).
  6. Electricity. to render electrically or magnetically neutral.
verb (used without object), neu·tral·ized, neu·tral·iz·ing.
  1. to become neutral or neutralized; undergo neutralization: With this additive the solution begins to neutralize.
Also especially British, neu·tral·ise.

Origin of neutralize

First recorded in 1655–65; neutral + -ize
Related formsneu·tral·iz·er, nouno·ver·neu·tral·ize, verb (used with object), o·ver·neu·tral·ized, o·ver·neu·tral·iz·ing.o·ver·neu·tral·iz·er, nounre·neu·tral·ize, verb, re·neu·tral·ized, re·neu·tral·iz·ing.un·neu·tral·ize, verb (used with object), un·neu·tral·ized, un·neu·tral·iz·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for neutralise

Historical Examples of neutralise

  • Let him neutralise the treachery into which a moment of human weakness betrayed him.

  • That is the way to neutralise the poison they are spreading.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • To neutralise these was the question that now occupied them.

    The Boy Slaves

    Mayne Reid

  • In that case they should neutralise one another; anyhow, let me hear them.

    The Lone Ranche

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • When he did, he was wont to laugh at himself, and so neutralise the laugh raised against him.

    The Red Eric

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for neutralise



verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to render or become ineffective or neutral by counteracting, mixing, etc; nullify
  2. (also intr) to make or become electrically or chemically neutral
  3. to exclude (a country) from the sphere of warfare or alliances by international agreementthe great powers neutralized Belgium in the 19th century
  4. to render (an army) incapable of further military action
Derived Formsneutralization or neutralisation, nounneutralizer or 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

Word Origin and History for neutralise



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

neutralise in Science


  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.