oxidize

verb

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

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
oxidizable adjective

Examples of oxidize in a Sentence

The paint oxidizes and discolors rapidly.
Recent Examples on the Web Our tester liked that their combination skin looked radiant without appearing greasy, and the color kept its shade even after hours of wear, settling into the skin without oxidizing or accentuating uneven texture. Alyssa Brascia, Peoplemag, 25 Apr. 2024 The potatoes will oxidize, so be sure to shred right before use. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 15 Apr. 2024 Tombstone is renowned for its high grade, oxidized, silver-gold-lead-zinc-copper mesothermal stringer lode veins, hydrothermal breccias and manto CRD orebodies that were mined in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Kansas City Star, 10 Apr. 2024 Working primarily with steel — often twisted into evocative shapes and oxidized to achieve a distinctive deep orange palette — Serra was known for large-scale sculptures designed not only to be observed but to be explored, experienced and felt. Oscar Holland, CNN, 26 Mar. 2024 Chocolates are also shelf stable for months, unlike the mushrooms themselves, which will oxidize if not stored properly. Meghan McCarron, Bon Appétit, 24 Jan. 2024 After being oxidized in a kiln, the fish are polished and painted by hand using a translucent blue lacquer. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 12 Mar. 2024 And fattier nuts, like macadamia or Brazil nuts, will oxidize quicker than leaner almonds. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 12 Mar. 2024 This minimizes the risk of the fruit oxidizing or fermenting from sitting out for too long post-harvest. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oxidize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1802, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of oxidize was in 1802

Dictionary Entries Near oxidize

Cite this Entry

“Oxidize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxidize. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

oxidize

verb
ox·​i·​dize ˈäk-sə-ˌdīz How to pronounce oxidize (audio)
oxidized; oxidizing
1
: to combine with oxygen
2
: to remove hydrogen from especially by the action of oxygen
3
: to remove one or more electrons from (an atom, ion, or molecule)
4
: to become oxidized
oxidizer noun

Medical Definition

oxidize

verb
ox·​i·​dize
variants also British oxidise
oxidized also British oxidised; oxidizing also British oxidising

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)
oxidizable adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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