Medical Definition of desensitize
desensitized also British desensitised; desensitizing also British desensitising
: 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>
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