denature

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: dénature and dénaturé

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French dénaturer.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

denature (third-person singular simple present denatures, present participle denaturing, simple past and past participle denatured)

  1. (transitive) To take away a natural characteristic or inherent property of (a thing or a person).
    Synonym: denaturalize
  2. (transitive) To add something to (alcohol) that makes it unsuitable for consumption but leaves it suitable for other purposes.
    While you cannot drink denatured alcohol, you can still use it to remove sticker glue from most surfaces.
  3. (transitive, intransitive, biochemistry) To alter its original form or state, especially of a protein, by heat, acidity etc.
    • 2004, Harold McGee, chapter 12, in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Scribner, →ISBN:
      Sugars are wonderfully robust materials! Unlike proteins that easily denature and coagulate, unlike fats that are damaged by air and heat and go rancid, unlike starch chains that break apart into smaller chains of glucose molecules, sugars themselves are small and stable molecules.
    • 2004, Harold McGee, chapter 15, in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Scribner, →ISBN:
      Because the activity of an enzyme depends on its structure, any change in that structure will destroy its effectiveness. So cooking foods sufficiently will denature and inactivate any enzymes they may contain.
  4. To combine fissionable material with nonfissionable material in order to prevent its use in an atomic weapon.

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