sanitize

verb
san·​i·​tize | \ ˈsa-nə-ˌtīz How to pronounce sanitize (audio) \
sanitized; sanitizing

Definition of sanitize

transitive verb

1 : to reduce or eliminate pathogenic agents (such as bacteria) on the surfaces of (something) : to make (something) sanitary (as by cleaning or disinfecting) You can use sponges and dishcloths safely if you take care to sanitize them, says Dean Cliver, a professor of food safety at the University of California, Davis.— Nick Gallo City Sanitarian Lauri Sorel said no soot was found and restaurants only had to sanitize food service surfaces with a mixture of bleach and water.The Springfield (Massachusetts) Union-News He had every store and delivery truck sanitized, and he set up a department to make unannounced health inspections of stores, vowing to temporarily shut down any slackers for cleanup.— Suzanne Hoppough
2 : to make (something, such as text) more acceptable by removing, hiding, or minimizing any unpleasant, undesirable, or unfavorable parts The memories—and memoirs—of former intelligence hands tend to be selective as well as sanitized, either by the author or by some form of official censorship or both, and the historian must be wary.— Ian Black and Benny Morris They were also forced to "sanitize" reports that might show early church leaders or the official doctrine in a dim light.— Robert Lindsey Once "friended" by a colleague, people feel compelled to employ privacy features—which itself can be a snub—or to sanitize their online profiles—which is akin to hiding something under the bed.— Jared Sandberg Published in Munich in 1987, the diaries are a major tool of that school of historians whose purpose is to relativize, normalize, sanitize the crimes of the Third Reich.— Peter Padfield And the movie sanitizes his behavior as well. (It manages to suggest that he's a philanderer without ever once showing him with another woman.)Entertainment Weekly … civilian casualties are referred to as "collateral damage"—a stunningly abstract and sanitized way to refer to mangled human bodies.— Carol E. Cohn

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Other Words from sanitize

sanitization \ ˌsa-​nə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce sanitize (audio) \ noun

Examples of sanitize in a Sentence

The housekeeping staff sanitized the bathroom. They're trying to sanitize the news.
Recent Examples on the Web In the meantime, and for their own personal safety, staff will continue to wear masks, socially distance and sanitize into the foreseeable future. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 18 May 2021 More disinfectant wipes also are getting improperly flushed, utilities say, as people sanitize counters and doorknobs. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 Kalahari Resorts is requiring employees to wear masks and sanitize high-touch areas frequently. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 13 Nov. 2020 There were more patients, with more complex needs, but less time to spare because of the constant need to don, doff, sanitize, and dispose of gear. oregonlive, 8 May 2021 The goal is to safely and properly sanitize the apartment, not fleece you. New York Times, 10 Apr. 2021 After that, sanitize anything that the food came in contact with, including pet bowls, containers, countertops, etc. Mike Wehner, BGR, 29 Mar. 2021 Go here, sit there, sanitize your hands, have your temperature taken. Georgie Silvarole, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2021 The White House limited attendance due to the virus, and aides will sanitize microphones before they are shuttled to the reporters called upon by Biden. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Mar. 2021

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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanitize

Latin sanitas

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Time Traveler for sanitize

Time Traveler

The first known use of sanitize was in 1836

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Statistics for sanitize

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sanitize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanitize. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for sanitize

sanitize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sanitize

: to make (something) free from dirt, infection, disease, etc., by cleaning it : to make (something) sanitary
often disapproving : to make (something) more pleasant and acceptable by taking things that are unpleasant or offensive out of it

sanitize

transitive verb
san·​i·​tize
variants: also British sanitise \ ˈsan-​ə-​ˌtīz How to pronounce sanitize (audio) \
sanitized also British sanitised; sanitizing also British sanitising

Medical Definition of sanitize

: to make sanitary (as by cleaning or sterilizing) sanitize all surfaces with a solution of bleach and water

Other Words from sanitize

sanitization also British sanitisation \ ˌsan-​ət-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce sanitize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sanitize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sanitize

Nglish: Translation of sanitize for Spanish Speakers

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