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

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 And then, of course, the foundation itself has to be good—long-wearing, blendable, with shades that don't oxidize or develop weird undertones. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "We Put Beautyblender's New Bounce Liquid Foundation To The Test," 20 July 2018 Because copper is often found in water, the metal can mix with the chlorine and oxidize your hair, causing it to actually turn green. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "20 Things You Should Know Before Coloring Your Hair for the First Time," 8 Nov. 2018 Also, because tea tree oil can oxidize when exposed to too much light and air, Mitan recommends choosing a product with airtight, dark packaging and using it within the timeframe recommended on the label. Krissy Brady, SELF, "What Tea Tree Oil Can and Can’t Do for Your Skin," 4 Oct. 2018 The tube has an airless nozzle which has been engineered to keep oxygen from oxidizing the shade and also from leaking. Sable Yong, Allure, "Milk Makeup Is Expanding Its Blur Matte Foundation and Flex Concealer Shades," 23 July 2018 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

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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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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