irradiate

verb
ir·​ra·​di·​ate | \i-ˈrā-dē-ˌāt \
irradiated; irradiating

Definition of irradiate 

transitive verb

1a : to cast rays of light upon : illuminate

b : to enlighten intellectually or spiritually

c : to affect or treat by radiant energy (such as heat) specifically : to treat by irradiation

2 : to emit like rays of light : radiate irradiating strength and comfort

intransitive verb

archaic : to emit rays : shine

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Other Words from irradiate

irradiative \ i-​ˈrā-​dē-​ˌā-​tiv \ adjective
irradiator \ i-​ˈrā-​dē-​ˌā-​tər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for irradiate

Synonyms

bathe, beacon, emblaze, illume, illuminate, illumine, light, lighten

Antonyms

blacken, darken, obfuscate

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Examples of irradiate in a Sentence

The food was irradiated to kill any germs. the light from a galaxy of flashing signs irradiates the heart and soul of Las Vegas

Recent Examples on the Web

Because my cancer was on my left side, traditional radiation would pass through my chest wall and irradiate my heart and healthy lung. The Seattle Times, "Protecting this mom’s heart from radiation," 15 Oct. 2018 Like potatoes, conventional ginger is irradiated and treated to stop it from sprouting at the supermarket. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way to Grow Ginger at Home," 29 July 2018 Plutonium rich in the isotope Pu-239, called weapons-grade plutonium, poses the fewest technical challenges and can be extracted from nuclear fuel that is only irradiated in a reactor for a short time. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Uranium enrichment will be a key point in talks with North Korea. Here’s what it is.," 11 June 2018 When a man hiding in a fridge is swept by this overpressure wave, he’ll certainly be battered to death inside a tumbling, irradiated oven. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Hollywood Has No Idea How Nukes Work," 2 Apr. 2018 Traditional therapy irradiates tumors with X-ray waves, which are beams of photons, and all tissue along the beams’ paths get a similar dose of radiation. Bonnie Berkowitz, Washington Post, "How proton therapy attacks cancer," 5 Mar. 2018 Like potatoes, conventional ginger is irradiated and chemically treated to stop it from sprouting at the supermarket. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way To Grow Spicy Ginger In Your Own House," 24 Oct. 2017 Traditional therapy irradiates tumors with X-ray waves, and all tissue along the beams' path gets a similar dose of radiation. Bonnie Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Hospitals use protons to fight cancer," 14 Mar. 2018 And these flashes irradiate particular dancers: a harshness in the lucid Michael Novak; a roiling distress in Heather McGinley; a soft explosiveness in Alex Clayton, who joined the troupe last year and is already a standout. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Review: Paul Taylor Classics Outshine New Dances (His and Others’)," 11 Mar. 2018

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

1603, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for irradiate

Latin irradiatus, past participle of irradiare, from in- + radius ray

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Statistics for irradiate

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irradiate

The first known use of irradiate was in 1603

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More Definitions for irradiate

irradiate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of irradiate

: to expose (someone or something) to radiation

irradiate

verb
ir·​ra·​di·​ate | \i-ˈrā-dē-ˌāt \
irradiated; irradiating

Kids Definition of irradiate

1 : to cast rays of light on

2 : to treat by exposure to radiation (as X-rays)

irradiate

transitive verb
ir·​ra·​di·​ate | \ir-ˈād-ē-ˌāt \
irradiated; irradiating

Medical Definition of irradiate 

: to affect or treat by radiant energy (as heat) specifically : to treat by exposure to radiation (as ultraviolet light or gamma rays)

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Comments on irradiate

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