Definition of denature in English:


Syllabification: de·na·ture
Pronunciation: /dēˈnāCHər


[with object] (often as adjective denatured)
  • 1Take away or alter the natural qualities of: empty verbalisms and denatured ceremonies
    More example sentences
    • However, we must hold firmly to the outlines or our production will be diffuse, denatured, and ineffective, not leaving the indelible residue in the mind that an accumulation of arsenic does.
    • Curiously, the same logic also appears to be true of the tourist strip, which, in its own tacky way, is a classic example of how run-amok corporate money can leave a place wholly denatured.
    • This is music denatured: homogenised, pasteurised, and sterilised.
  • 1.1Make (alcohol) unfit for drinking by the addition of toxic or foul-tasting substances.
    More example sentences
    • A car on one of the trains is also leaking denatured alcohol, which of course, is extremely dangerous.
    • A number of cars derailed, including one that began leaking denatured alcohol.
    • Use denatured alcohol to remove dried latex paint spills or drips.
  • 1.2 Biochemistry Destroy the characteristic properties of (a protein or other biological macromolecule) by heat, acidity, or other effects that disrupt its molecular conformation.
    More example sentences
    • Experimentally, urea and guanidinium chloride are widely used as denaturant agents, but it is still not clear by which molecular mechanism they denature proteins.
    • Both these changes occur because heat denatures the myoglobin.
    • Heat stress can denature proteins, and the cell mobilizes chaperonins like a small army of physical therapists to twist everything back into its proper conformation.



Pronunciation: /dēˌnāCHəˈrāSHən/
More example sentences
  • However, the change in the photovoltage amplitude was at least reversible, and it seems likely that the change was not due to some irreversible denaturation.
  • This damage may occur in response to anything that will cause protein denaturation including thermal stress, osmotic stress, and chemical damage.
  • In proteins, this process results in denaturation.


late 17th century (in the sense 'make unnatural'): from French dénaturer, from dé- (expressing reversal) + nature 'nature'.

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