- to change the nature of; take natural qualities away from
- to make (alcohol, etc.) unfit for human consumption without spoiling for other uses
- to change the structure of (a protein) by heat, acids, alkalies, etc., so that the original properties are greatly changed or eliminated
- to add a nonfissionable isotope to (a fissionable isotope) so that the mixture cannot be used in nuclear bombs but can still be used as fuel material
Origin of denatureMedieval Latin denaturare: see de- and amp; nature
transitive verbde·na·tured, de·na·tur·ing, de·na·tures
- To change the nature or natural qualities of.
- To render unfit to eat or drink without destroying usefulness in other applications, especially to add methanol to (ethyl alcohol).
- Biochemistry a. To cause the tertiary structure of (a protein) to unfold, as with heat, alkali, or acid, so that some of its original properties, especially its biological activity, are diminished or eliminated.b. To cause the paired strands of (double-stranded DNA) to separate into individual single strands.
- Physics To add nonfissionable matter to (fissionable material) so as to prevent use in an atomic weapon.
(third-person singular simple present denatures, present participle denaturing, simple past and past participle denatured)
- To take away a natural characteristic or inherent property of a thing or a person.
- (in reference to alcohol) to add something that makes alcohol unsuitable for consumption but leaves the alcohol suitable for other purposes.
- (chemistry) To subject (especially a protein) to conditions altering its original form or state.
- To combine fissionable material with nonfissionable material in order to prevent its use in an atomic weapon.
From French dénaturer