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Medical Dictionary

desensitize

transitive verb de·sen·si·tize

Medical Definition of desensitize

desensitized also British desensitised; desensitizing also British desensitising

  1. :  to make less sensitive :  reduce sensitivity in <desensitize a nerve with a local anesthetic>: asa:  to make (a sensitized or hypersensitive individual) insensitive or nonreactive to a sensitizing agentb:  to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to stimuli which formerly induced it :  make emotionally insensitive <evidence that violence on television desensitizes children to actual violence—Stephanie Harrington>c:  to decrease a response (as of a cell receptor) progressively following prolonged exposure to a stimulus <formation of cAMP was reduced significantly in desensitized cells and remained low in the continuous presence of agonist—S. M. Nilius et al>

desensitization also British desensitisation \(ˌ)dē-ˌsen-sət-ə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌsen-stə-ˈzā-\play noun


Variants of desensitize

also British desensitise \(ˈ)dē-ˈsen(t)-sə-ˌtīz\play

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