aero·​sol·​ize ˈer-ə-ˌsä-ˌlīz How to pronounce aerosolize (audio)
aerosolized; aerosolizing; aerosolizes

transitive verb

: to disperse (something) as an aerosol : to convert or form into an aerosol
… high-energy laser pulses vaporize or aerosolize thin layers from the surface of a bulk sample …Nancy H. McGuire
… a battery-powered device that aerosolizes nicotine for inhalation but does not burn tobacco.Nancy A. Rigotti
Spraying cleaning products into a shower stall and then turning on hot water aerosolizes all those chemicals into everything from bathroom walls to fabric.Kathryn Matthews
aerosolized adjective
aerosolized medications
Infection in humans occurs after inhalation of aerosolized virus or direct contact with infected rodents or their excreta. The Journal of the American Medical Association

Examples of aerosolize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So there are things that grow deep in the soil or grow in the insides of plants and not things that would generally be aerosolized just by wind. More on Microbes How Microbes Help Clean Our Environment PM: How do these microbes get swept up in wildland fire smoke? Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 8 June 2023 Vaping As a Matter of Public Health Unlike traditional cigarettes, vapes or e-cigarettes function by aerosolizing a liquid cartridge that usually contains flavoring and nicotine—the same addictive substance in regular tobacco products. Julia Landwehr, Health, 10 May 2023 Many health care providers initially hesitated to use such interventions for fear the pressurized air would aerosolize the virus and endanger health care workers. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2020 The swab up the nose can aerosolize the virus to spread on air currents, potentially infecting others. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, 11 June 2020 Oils from frying and sautéing can aerosolize (that’s how your counters end up with a fine layer of grease on them). Brianna Barbu, Discover Magazine, 7 July 2021 Research shows that a toilet flush can aerosolize pathogens, spreading them to nearby surfaces. Mikhail Klimentov, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2022 Fires aerosolize pollutants, propelling chemicals and particulate matter into the atmosphere, which then falls as a kind of toxic snow. WIRED, 19 Oct. 2022 The agency didn’t finalize a rule for regulating vaping devices—which heat and aerosolize nicotine e-liquids, hopefully providing a less-dangerous version of a traditional cigarette—until 2016. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aerosolize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


aerosol + -ize

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aerosolize was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near aerosolize

Cite this Entry

“Aerosolize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
aerosolized; aerosolizing
: to disperse (as a medicine, bactericide, or insecticide) as an aerosol
aerosolized pentamidine, which is sprayed directly into the lungsC. C. Mann
aerosolizer noun
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