ir·​ra·​di·​a·​tion | \ i-ˌrā-dē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce irradiation (audio) \

Definition of irradiation

1 : exposure to radiation (such as X-rays or alpha particles)
2 : the application of radiation (such as X-rays or gamma rays) for therapeutic purposes or for sterilization (as of food) also : partial or complete sterilization by irradiation

Examples of irradiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Motion sensors and thermometers can determine the vehicle is empty and ready for irradiation, said Fletemier of Faurecia, which is looking at UVA and C sterilization. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Here are ways your next car could be virus-proof," 16 May 2020 Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, vaporous hydrogen peroxide and moist heat are the most promising ways to decontaminate such masks. Alyssa Stoney, azcentral, "Wondering how to reuse PPE? Here's what the CDC says," 14 Apr. 2020 Should mail irradiation be extended beyond these exclusive ZIP codes, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus? Nicola Twilley, New York Times, "You’ve Got Mail. Will You Get the Coronavirus?," 24 Mar. 2020 Foremost among them, says Lin-Wen Hu, director of research and irradiation services at MIT’s Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, is finding materials that can contain the corrosive molten salts. Wired, "Andrew Yang Wants a Thorium Reactor by 2027. Good Luck, Buddy," 21 Oct. 2019 Consumers have been reluctant to embrace irradiation, which exposes food products to ionizing radiation, and organic standards don’t allow its use. Virginia Gewin, Washington Post, "Produce growers get new ammunition in the battle against outbreaks," 22 July 2019 Prions can withstand heat, irradiation, enzymes that normally degrade proteins, and protein-altering chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Camels in Africa may have been quietly spreading prion disease for decades," 26 Apr. 2018 That calculated out to an unpleasant irradiation rate of 5.75 micros an hour. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "As Innocuous as Plant No. 1," 10 Apr. 2018 Crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation (a form of radiation used to kill bacteria), or biotechnology. Jessica Decostole, Redbook, "5 Things You Should Know About Organic Food," 29 Nov. 2017

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

1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for irradiation

Time Traveler

The first known use of irradiation was in 1901

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Statistics for irradiation

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irradiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for irradiation


ir·​ra·​di·​a·​tion | \ i-ˌrā-dē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce irradiation (audio) \

Kids Definition of irradiation

: exposure to radiation


ir·​ra·​di·​a·​tion | \ ir-ˌād-ē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce irradiation (audio) \

Medical Definition of irradiation

1a : the radiation of a physiologically active agent from a point of origin within the body especially : the spread of a nerve impulse beyond the usual conduction path
b : apparent enlargement of a light or bright object or surface when displayed against a dark background
2a : exposure to radiation (as X-rays or alpha particles)
b : application of radiation (as X-rays or gamma rays) for therapeutic purposes or for sterilization (as of food)

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