disinvent

disinvent
dis·in·vent (dĭs'ĭn-vĕntʹ) tr.v. dis·in·vent·ed, dis·in·vent·ing, dis·in·vents
To rescind the invention or existence of: “The atomic bomb... cannot be disinvented” (Patrick J. Buchanan).
  dis'in·venʹtion n.  
Usage Note: One cannot ordinarily attach the prefix dis- in its sense of “undo” to a verb that refers to an irreversible act or process. Disinvent is an exception. This word was apparently coined by military or political figures, as its usage is almost entirely restricted to the realm of arms-reduction talks. Disinvent, though it smacks somewhat of bureaucratese, is nonetheless quite apt for referring to the inherent (and woeful) impossibility of undoing the invention of weapons of mass destruction.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • disinvent — /dis in ventˈ/ transitive verb To undo the invention of ORIGIN: ↑dis (2) …   Useful english dictionary

  • disinvent — verb To nullify a previous invention …   Wiktionary

  • disinvent — verb undo the invention of …   English new terms dictionary

  • disinvention — See disinvent. * * * …   Universalium

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