I'm a English leaner and I ran into an article. There were 2 phrases I couldn't get the meaning.

... attempting to defuse the early morning confrontation in the doorway ...

... tries to explain what's unfolding to the dispatcher ...

["Stunning SFPD bodycam video shows DePape's violent assault of Paul Pelosi" - CBS News]

Below is the link.


Anyone who would rephrase them using easier words is welcome. Thank you!

  • 5
    You defuse a bomb to stop it exploding. This is a metaphorical use. Jan 28, 2023 at 9:25
  • @KateBunting Thank you, I think I get the meaning!
    – Lucy Juicy
    Jan 28, 2023 at 9:48
  • 1
    You can find a secondary meaning of unfold in a dictionary. Jan 28, 2023 at 10:20
  • 1
    Hi Lucy, I also lean to English these days :) Jokes aside, please focus on one question when you post a question here. You can simply ask two different questions. This way, you get more focused answers. Welcome to ELL!
    – Joachim
    Jan 28, 2023 at 15:20
  • 1
    Welcome to ELL. I hope you like the place and decide to visit often. You might want to read the Contributor's guide. It has a lot of helpful information on how best to ask and answer, questions here on ELL. Jan 28, 2023 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


To defuse means to deactivate an explosive device to prevent it from exploding.

In your example, to defuse is being used metaphorically. It means "to stop the early morning confrontation".

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