oxidize

verb
ox·​i·​dize | \ ˈäk-sə-ˌdīz How to pronounce oxidize (audio) \
oxidized; oxidizing

Definition of oxidize

transitive verb

1 : to combine with oxygen Other chemicals then oxidize the sulfur dioxide to form sulfuric acid, which along with the nitric acid increases the acidity of the dewdrop.— R. Monastersky Should the cork be allowed to dry out, it will shrink and allow air to seep in and oxidize the wine.— Peter D. Meltzer
2 : to dehydrogenate especially by the action of oxygen oxidize an alcohol to an aldehyde
3 : to change (a compound) by increasing the proportion of the electronegative part or change (an element or ion) from a lower to a higher positive valence What mix of products is formed is a function of the electrode potential used to oxidize the chloride ion.Chemical & Engineering News : remove one or more electrons from (an atom, ion, or molecule) oxidize metallic copper to ionic copper

intransitive verb

: to become oxidized Fats can either oxidize (combine with oxygen) or hydrolyze (combine with water) to become rancid.— Shirley Corriher Silver does not oxidize, or rust, on exposure to air. In fact, compared with most other elements, it is not particularly reactive.— C. Claiborne Ray

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Other Words from oxidize

oxidizable \ ˌäk-​sə-​ˈdī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce oxidizable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of oxidize in a Sentence

The paint oxidizes and discolors rapidly.

Recent Examples on the Web

As meat ages, water evaporates, fats oxidize, the umami taste increases; and most of all, enzymes break down the muscle tissue, tenderizing it. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "Review: Regal dining at Feng Chophouse in Hartford (but for a king’s ransom)," 8 Aug. 2019 Smoke point is the temperature at which the fat begins to break down and oxidize. NBC News, "The best oils to use for cooking, according to nutritionists," 24 July 2019 Wines can become oxidized through poor storage, from dried out corks and warm temperatures. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "The fault in our glass: How imperfections can enhance some wines — and even make them memorable," 28 June 2019 Plus, there is some research to suggest that squalene, when oxidized, naturally plays a role in the formation of acne—why add more? Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What the Heck Is Squalane Oil and Why Is It Suddenly in All My Skin-Care Products?," 20 June 2019 French chemist Eugene Schueller based his 1907 hair color invention on PPD, which, when oxidized, turned the hair black. Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 White and gray hair are also more likely to oxidize, looking yellow and tarnished. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How to Properly Take Care of Graying Hair," 4 June 2019 Chemical sunscreens usually have ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone that can oxidize and become less effective over time. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Does Sunscreen Expire? And Every Other Question You’ve Had About SPF, Answered," 14 May 2019 Over time this film is destroyed by UV rays, allowing the plastic to oxidize. Zachary Palmer, Popular Mechanics, "How to Clean Your Headlights and Make Them Shine Like New," 2 Aug. 2018

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

1802, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for oxidize

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oxidize

The first known use of oxidize was in 1802

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More Definitions for oxidize

oxidize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of oxidize

: to become combined with oxygen

oxidize

verb
ox·​i·​dize | \ ˈäk-sə-ˌdīz How to pronounce oxidize (audio) \
oxidized; oxidizing

Kids Definition of oxidize

: to combine or become combined with oxygen The various metals will oxidize at different rates. Iron oxidizes to form rust.

oxidize

verb
ox·​i·​dize
variants: also British oxidise \ ˈäk-​sə-​ˌdīz How to pronounce oxidise (audio) \
oxidized also British oxidised; oxidizing also British oxidising

Medical Definition of oxidize

transitive verb

1 : to combine with oxygen
2 : to dehydrogenate especially by the action of oxygen
3 : to change (a compound) by increasing the proportion of the electronegative part or change (an element or ion) from a lower to a higher positive valence : remove one or more electrons from (an atom, ion, or molecule)

Other Words from oxidize

oxidizable \ -​ˌdī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce oxidizable (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on oxidize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oxidize

Spanish Central: Translation of oxidize

Nglish: Translation of oxidize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oxidize for Arabic Speakers

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