oxidize

verb
ox·​i·​dize | \ˈäk-sə-ˌdīz \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from oxidize

oxidizable \ˌäk-​sə-​ˈdī-​zə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of oxidize in a Sentence

The paint oxidizes and discolors rapidly.

Recent Examples on the Web

First, the Curiosity rover had found rocks on Mars that were heavily oxidized, possibly the result of water permeating into the rocks. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Mars May Have Enough Oxygen to Sustain Subsurface Life," 22 Oct. 2018 The pyrite half of the Paleolithic firestarting kit often doesn't last as long as flint, because pyrite tends to oxidize and corrode away over time. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals used stone hand axes to strike a light," 26 July 2018 Like in-office treatments, at-home bleaches oxidize stain molecules with hydrogen peroxide — or ingredients that break down into it — albeit in lower concentrations. Abbie Kozolchyk, Good Housekeeping, "Best Tips and Tools to Whiten Your Smile," 7 Jan. 2011 Most of them were vapid, dilute and/or oxidized due to poor winemaking techniques. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "An Under-the-Radar Italian Wine Made for Summer Drinking," 31 May 2018 Because geologic processes move material from underground to the surface, the reverse may also be happening, transporting surface materials highly oxidized by Jupiter’s harsh radiation down through the ice. Ramin Skibba, Scientific American, "Decades-Old Data Unveils Plumes Spewing from Europa," 14 May 2018 But nothing inspires fascination among L.A.’s tea geeks quite like her collection of oolong, an expressive variety that bridges the gap between green tea (unoxidized) and black tea (oxidized). Scott Reitz, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Owner of an SGV Tea Shop Walks Us Through the Wonderful World of Oolong," 13 Feb. 2018 The skunk bath recipe works by oxidizing the thiols into compounds called disulfides, which are not so smelly. Janine M. Kahn, Good Housekeeping, "What You Should Do When Your Dog Rolls In These 3 Disgusting Things—According To Veterinarians," 10 July 2017 Inside the restaurant right now, there are apples oxidizing, pepper pastes aging and millions of microbes working hard to mine flavor from unexpected places. Ali Bouzari, San Francisco Chronicle, "Housemade: The silent science behind three signature dishes at Duna," 12 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of oxidize

1802, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oxidize

Statistics for oxidize

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oxidize

The first known use of oxidize was in 1802

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \
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 \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on oxidize

What made you want to look up oxidize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!