desensitize

verb
de·​sen·​si·​tize | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈsen(t)-sə-ˌtīz How to pronounce desensitize (audio) \
desensitized; desensitizing; desensitizes

Definition of desensitize

transitive verb

1 : to make (a sensitized or hypersensitive individual) insensitive or nonreactive to a sensitizing agent
2 : to make emotionally insensitive or callous specifically : to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to stimuli that formerly induced it

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Other Words from desensitize

desensitization \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌsen(t)-​sə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce desensitization (audio) \ noun
desensitizer \ (ˌ)dē-​ˈsen-​sə-​ˌtī-​zər How to pronounce desensitizer (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Physical desensitizing is something that biologists have long been aware of. Basic training in the armed forces tries to desensitize new recruits to pain. We can desensitize ourselves to the summer heat by turning off the air conditioning, or become desensitized to the cold by walking barefoot in the snow. But desensitize is more often used when talking about negative emotions. Parents worry that their children will be desensitized to violence by playing video games. Soldiers may become desensitized to death on the battlefield. Desensitizing may be natural and desirable under some circumstances, but maybe not so good in others.

Examples of desensitize in a Sentence

The shot will help to desensitize the nerve.

First Known Use of desensitize

1898, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near desensitize

desegregation

deselect

desemer

desensitize

Deseret

desert

desert armor

Statistics for desensitize

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Time Traveler for desensitize

The first known use of desensitize was in 1898

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More Definitions for desensitize

desensitize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of desensitize

: to cause (someone or something) to react less to or be less affected by something : to cause (someone or something) to be less sensitive

desensitize

transitive verb
de·​sen·​si·​tize
variants: also British desensitise \ (ˈ)dē-​ˈsen(t)-​sə-​ˌtīz How to pronounce desensitise (audio) \
desensitized also British desensitised; desensitizing also British desensitising

Medical Definition of desensitize

: to make less sensitive : reduce sensitivity in desensitize a nerve with a local anesthetic : as
a : to make (a sensitized or hypersensitive individual) insensitive or nonreactive to a sensitizing agent
b : 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

Other Words from desensitize

desensitization also British desensitisation \ (ˌ)dē-​ˌsen-​sət-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən, -​ˌsen-​stə-​ˈzā-​ How to pronounce desensitisation (audio) \ noun

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with desensitize

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