[ wep-uh-nahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, weap·on·ized, weap·on·iz·ing.
  1. to supply or equip with a weapon or weapons:

    to weaponize trucks and helicopters.

  2. to develop (a chemical, microorganism, etc.) for use as a weapon, as in biological warfare:

    to weaponize uranium;

    weaponized anthrax.

  3. to use as a means to gain a powerful advantage:

    She has been known to weaponize her femininity.


/ ˈwɛpəˌnaɪz /


  1. to adapt (a chemical, bacillus, etc) in such a way that it can be used as a weapon

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Other Words From

  • weapon·i·zation noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of weaponize1

First recorded in 1955–60; weapon ( def ) + -ize ( def )

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Example Sentences

Over the years, food here has been weaponized, withheld, and used as a means of corruption and coercion by those in power.

From Eater

The flag belongs to us all and yet it has been weaponized against so many.

Unlike today, back then angry female characters were not yet fully weaponized.

Democrats fear Barr is weaponizing the Justice Department ahead of the election.

From Axios

Over the last month, fireworks have been weaponized at demonstrations across the country.

From Time

The message will be clear: Tehran will not be allowed to weaponize its nuclear operations.