ionize

verb
ion·​ize | \ˈī-ə-ˌnīz \
ionized; ionizing

Definition of ionize 

transitive verb

: to convert wholly or partly into ions

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Other Words from ionize

ionizable \ ˈī-​ə-​ˌnī-​zə-​bəl \ adjective
ionization \ ˌī-​ə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
ionizer \ ˈī-​ə-​ˌnī-​zər \ noun

Examples of ionize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing radiation, and the tissues in our bodies closest to the phone can absorb this energy. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Brain tumors on the rise in England, raising cell phone concerns," 2 May 2018 The atmosphere of Pluto interacts with solar winds and ionizes Pluto, giving it a tail that stretches across the system and out into space. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What We Know About Pluto So Far," 17 July 2015 The intense ultraviolet light from this era caused this murky neutral hydrogen to get excited and ionize, or gain electric charge, and the gas has remained in that state since that time. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, "Oldest Supermassive Black Hole Found from Universe’s Infancy," 6 Dec. 2017 Shull and his colleagues have been hunting for this ionized gas. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "After years of searching, scientists can finally account for all the normal matter in the universe," 20 June 2018 The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that ionizing radiation, like that found in cosmic radiation, can contribute to cancer in people. Alice Park, Time, "Flight Attendants Have Higher Rates of Many Cancers, Study Says," 26 June 2018 For example, two large studies that came out earlier this year found that the kind of non-ionizing radiation emitted by cell phone networks caused heightened cancer risks in laboratory animals. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—The Wireless Industry's Real 5G Challenge," 6 June 2018 For tens of millions of years, the universe was a dark expanse, full of ionized hydrogen and helium. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Astronomers Find Signature From the Universe’s Earliest Known Stars," 22 May 2018 After the gas clumped together to form the first stars, their radiation ionized the neutral gas and eventually snuffed out the faint signal. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "China’s moon mission will probe cosmic dark ages," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ionize.' 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 ionize

1898, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for ionize

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

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Statistics for ionize

Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ionize

The first known use of ionize was in 1898

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More Definitions for ionize

ionize

verb
ion·​ize | \ˈī-ə-ˌnīz \
ionized; ionizing

Kids Definition of ionize

: to change into ions

ionize

verb
ion·​ize
variants: or chiefly British ionise \ ˈī-​ə-​ˌnīz \
ionized or chiefly British ionised; ionizing or chiefly British ionising

Medical Definition of ionize 

transitive verb

: to convert wholly or partly into ions

Other Words from ionize

ionizable or chiefly British ionisable \ -​ˌnī-​zə-​bəl \ adjective
ionization or chiefly British ionisation \ ˌī-​ə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

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