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tr.v. de·fanged, de·fang·ing, de·fangs
1. To remove the fangs of (a snake, for example).
2. To undermine the strength or power of; make ineffectual: an attempt to defang the opposition.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (tr)
1. to remove the fangs from (an animal or reptile)
2. to weaken or compromise (something)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. to remove the fangs of.
2. to remove the power or threat of; render harmless.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.defang - remove the fangs from; "defang the poisonous snake"
remove, take away, withdraw, take - remove something concrete, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off, or remove something abstract; "remove a threat"; "remove a wrapper"; "Remove the dirty dishes from the table"; "take the gun from your pocket"; "This machine withdraws heat from the environment"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Tral (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Aug 22 (ANI): With normalcy returning to Tral town of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir after defanging of Article 370, which gave special status to the region, people here say they look forward to a brighter future under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
President Trump's two-pronged strategy will seek to ensure Israel's hegemony in the GMER and win the 2020 elections by defanging and defeating Iran.
Why have their nefarious activities not raised a similar hue and cry for instant exposure, defanging and reforms?
And the military sees defanging the Muslim Brotherhood as very much in its interest -- and they are going to pursue that with or without American aid." Springborg of the Naval Postgraduate School says Washington also has another way to influence Cairo -- through institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, or IMF.
"The real issue is not taking power, but defanging power.
(A small French vessel managed to sneak out, but it likely lacks the fuel to make it to Gaza.) Max Boot, who last year was a very early voice on the right condemning Israel's tactics in enforcing its blockade, which left nine dead, points out that Israeli diplomacy additionally scored a major coup in defanging the flotilla by persuading Turkey not to tacitly endorse Flotilla 2, as it had Flotilla 1, and to get the Turkish IHH charity, which has ties to Hamas and was Flotilla 1′s ringleader, to withdraw.
Areas highlighted by the council include restriction on exhibiting and trading dogs and cats and also non-curative surgical interventions--such as ear cropping or defanging. It also wants the Commission to assess education programmes for responsible dog and cat ownership.