Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

defuse

verb
     
Related topics: Bombs and Terrorism
deā€§fuse [transitive]
1 to improve a difficult or dangerous situation, for example by making people less angry or by dealing with the causes of a problem
defuse a situation/crisis/row etc
Beth's quiet voice helped to defuse the situation.
defuse tension/anger etc
The agreement was regarded as a means of defusing ethnic tensions.
2SCB to remove the fuse from a bomb in order to prevent it from exploding

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