Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Deprotonate: To remove a proton. Sometimes erroneously written as deprotonization. Deprotonation does not refer to the ejection or removal of hydride ion (H:-). The removal of hydrogen radical (H.) is termed hydrogen abstraction.

Hydroxide ion (HO-; a Bronsted base) deprotonates acetic acid (CH3COOH; a Bronsted acid) as the reaction moves to the right. (We can also say acetic acid protonates hydroxide ion.) Acetate ion (CH3CO2-) deprotonates water as the reaction moves to the left.