at·​om·​ize | \ˈa-tə-ˌmīz \
atomized; atomizing

Definition of atomize 

transitive verb

1 : to treat as made up of many discrete units

2 : to reduce to minute particles or to a fine spray

3 : divide, fragment an atomized society also : to deprive of meaningful ties to others atomized individuals

4 : to subject to attack by nuclear weapons

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Other Words from atomize

atomization \ ˌa-​tə-​mə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

Examples of atomize in a Sentence

this medication for athlete's foot is atomized so that it can be sprayed on from an aerosol can

Recent Examples on the Web

Industrial market logic views these people as atomized, perhaps with demographic characteristics by which they can be grouped and counted, but rarely as immersed in relationships with one another. Nancy Baym, WIRED, "Book Excerpt: How Music Fans Built the Internet," 10 July 2018 Modified intake ports and new, higher-pressure fuel injectors enhance fuel delivery to the cylinders and better atomize the gas for higher efficiency and torque. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "2019 Mazda MX-5 gets 26-hp boost," 23 June 2018 Amateurs are flooding the internet; piracy has addled the once-dominant studios; production has atomized and scattered. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "‘Who Gets to Be Sexy?’," 5 May 2018 The showerhead atomizes water into millions of droplets, each with more surface area than a regular drop of shower water. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, "This Energy-Efficient Showerhead Could Radically Reduce Your Bills," 11 Aug. 2015 The faucets atomize water, breaking it into a fine mist that still comes out fast enough to clean hands, allowing lavatory-goers to use some 90 percent less. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Seven Airplane Innovations That Could Change How We Travel," 30 May 2018 There are brief bursts of Technicolor film scoring, atomized single-note tapestries, a conga line, a soft-edged funeral march and much more, each of which takes the stage for a few seconds before disappearing again. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco Symphony does right by little-known Prokofiev," 4 May 2018 Of course, previous efforts at regulating guns and limiting gun violence have collapsed as the news media have moved on, as individual groups atomized without consolidating into a mass movement. Erin Mayo-adam, Washington Post, "Yes, the Parkland kids could change U.S. gun policy. Here’s what it would take.," 15 Mar. 2018 This kind of local arrangement wouldn’t work in a larger or more atomized community. Longreads, "Blockchain Just Isn’t As Radical As You Want It To Be," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atomize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of atomize

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for atomize

The first known use of atomize was in 1865

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More Definitions for atomize


transitive verb
variants: or British atomise \ ˈat-​ə-​ˌmīz \
atomized or British atomised; atomizing or British atomising

Medical Definition of atomize 

: to convert to minute particles or to a fine spray an atomized medicated powder

Other Words from atomize

atomization or British atomisation \ ˌat-​ə-​mə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on atomize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for atomize

Britannica English: Translation of atomize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on atomize

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noxious or harmful

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