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Medical Dictionary

desensitize

transitive verb de·sen·si·tize

Medical Definition of desensitize

de·sen·si·tized also British de·sen·si·tisedde·sen·si·tiz·ing also British de·sen·si·tis·ing

  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>

  2. de·sen·si·ti·za·tion also British de·sen·si·ti·sa·tion \(ˌ)dē-ˌsen-sət-ə-ˈzā-shən, -ˌsen-stə-ˈzā-\play noun



Variants of desensitize

also British de·sen·si·tise \(ˈ)dē-ˈsen(t)-sə-ˌtīz\play

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