hy·​per·​sen·​si·​tize ˌhī-pər-ˈsen(t)-sə-ˌtīz How to pronounce hypersensitize (audio)
variants also British hypersensitise
hypersensitized; hypersensitizing

transitive verb

: to cause extreme or excessive sensitivity in : to make (something or someone) hypersensitive
hypersensitize tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents
… subdued by censorship and hypersensitized by inherited and actual grievances.Joseph O'Neill
Ironically, these painkillers can even end up hypersensitizing people to pain.Emily Yoffe
hypersensitization noun
also British hypersensitisation
central nervous system hypersensitization
hypersensitization of film for astronomical photography

Word History

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypersensitize was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near hypersensitize

Cite this Entry

“Hypersensitize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypersensitize. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants also British hypersensitise
hypersensitized also British hypersensitised; hypersensitizing also British hypersensitising
: to make hypersensitive
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