ionize

verb

ion·​ize ˈī-ə-ˌnīz How to pronounce ionize (audio)
ionized; ionizing

transitive verb

: to convert wholly or partly into ions
ionizable adjective
ionizer noun

Examples of ionize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Still swirling in a horizontal magnetic field, the muons would ionize atoms in the material, dissipating energy and quelling their buzzing about. Byadrian Cho, science.org, 28 Mar. 2024 Exposure to gamma radiation can ionize oxygen and nitrogen, creating elevated levels of nitrous oxides. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 18 Mar. 2024 Contrary to popular belief, the heat a spacecraft faces on reentry isn't generated by simple friction but rather by ram pressure—the fast-moving shuttle compresses the air in front of it, forming a massive shock zone in which air molecules ionize and break apart. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 1 Feb. 2023 Only an event like a neutron star that blasted the particles with ultraviolet or X-ray radiation could have ionized the atoms. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2024 The electrical power to strip away electrons and ionize the fuel will come from two five-panel solar wings capable of generating 21 kilowatts near Earth, dropping to between 2.3 and 3.4 kilowatts at Psyche's distance from the sun. William Harwood, CBS News, 13 Oct. 2023 But comparing the amount of radiation needed to ionize the atoms to the amount gusting from the quasar showed that there wasn’t nearly enough. Amber Jorgenson, Discover Magazine, 19 Mar. 2019 Prions are highly resistant to destruction or denaturation by common chemical and physical agents such as disinfectants, formalin, heat, UV or ionizing radiation. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Oct. 2023 Medical Diagnostics and Research Magnetic-resonance imaging is a popular diagnostic tool, thanks to its superior soft-tissue imaging and lack of ionizing radiation. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Sep. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

ion + -ize, after German ionisiren (now ionisieren) or French ioniser

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of ionize was in 1898

Dictionary Entries Near ionize

Cite this Entry

“Ionize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ionize. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

ionize

verb
ion·​ize ˈī-ə-ˌnīz How to pronounce ionize (audio)
ionized; ionizing
1
: to convert wholly or partly into ions
2
: to become ionized
ionizable adjective
ionization noun
ionizer noun

Medical Definition

ionize

verb
ion·​ize
variants or chiefly British ionise
ionized or chiefly British ionised; ionizing or chiefly British ionising

transitive verb

: to convert wholly or partly into ions
ionizable adjective
or chiefly British ionisable
ionization noun
or chiefly British ionisation

More from Merriam-Webster on ionize

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