Definition of defuse in English:

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Pronunciation: /dēˈfyo͞oz/


[with object]
1Remove the fuse from (an explosive device) in order to prevent it from exploding: explosives specialists tried to defuse the grenade
More example sentences
  • Security guards patrolling the area informed police, who in turn notified the Bomb Disposal Unit, who defused the explosive device.
  • Grimly, he picked up a manual on defusing explosive devices and began to skim through it, just in case.
  • The army began searching the area on Friday and is defusing explosive devices strewn around the area by the blasts.
1.1Reduce the danger or tension in (a difficult situation): he had the ability to defuse tense moments with humor
More example sentences
  • I can't help thinking that if Chuck were alive, he would have handled this unsavory, unneighborly encounter much better than I, for he was an expert at defusing tense situations.
  • It is learnt that more changes in the civil administration are also in the offing as part of the ongoing efforts to defuse the tense situation.
  • With their friendly but firm goodwill and common sense they were able to defuse many potentially dangerous situations and undoubtedly saved many lives.
ease, calm, smooth over, take the heat out of, restore order in/to;
settle, resolve, sort out, iron, put to rights, remedy, rectify;
get control of


On the difference between defuse and diffuse, see diffuse (usage).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·fuse

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