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 And while a hot dishwasher can sanitize them, there’s no guarantee that will get all of the bits of food out of those gashes. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Busting the myth that wood cutting boards are less sanitary than plastic cutting boards. Turns out wood is safer," 9 Jan. 2021 Three hospital employees working in the unit will sanitize the workspace between patients, UH said. Julie Washington, cleveland, "University Hospitals unveils state’s first mobile coronavirus testing center, which will offer tests to underserved areas," 14 Sep. 2020 Use the sterilize setting to sanitize baby bottles, jars for canning or metal utensils. Lauren Corona, chicagotribune.com, "What does an Instant Pot do?," 22 Mar. 2021 Ray had to hire three distance-learning teachers and three additional custodians to frequently sanitize the facilities. Los Angeles Times, "Rural California schools have been open for months. It’s taken a learning curve," 22 Mar. 2021 Some manufacturers are adding UV lights to refrigerators, either to combat the growth of bacteria in water-filtration systems or to sanitize shelving, according to Notini. Washington Post, "How the pandemic has changed the way we see and use our homes — maybe forever," 11 Mar. 2021 Staff will undergo temperature checks before each shift, wear face coverings and sanitize rides regularly. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "2021 Central Florida Fair ready for fun, with pandemic modifications," 3 Mar. 2021 Prior to receiving their treatment, the clients are required to have their temperature taken and to sanitize their hands. Allana Haynes, baltimoresun.com, "New business brings ‘touch-free’ spa technology to downtown Towson," 1 Mar. 2021 Bottom line, stick to the dishwasher to sanitize sponges made from earth-friendly materials. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "The dirtiest thing in your kitchen is your sponge, with as much bacteria as your intestines," 13 Feb. 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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sanitize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanitize. Accessed 14 Apr. 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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