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

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 Make sure to wipe down all parts of the humidifier daily and sanitize the tank with a vinegar solution at least every other week so no microorganisms can grow in the standing water. Daniel Varghese, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 Cleaning with soap and water will undoubtedly remove the superficial nasties on your household toys, but to actively kill germs, sanitize toys with a disinfectant. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2022 Walmart temporarily closed its Bainbridge Township location Tuesday afternoon to allow third-party cleaning crews time to thoroughly clean and sanitize the building. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 29 Dec. 2021 This will clean and sanitize the inside of the dishwasher as well as the racks and baskets. Better Homes & Gardens, 19 July 2022 Use it just as a vacuum for dry debris like pet hair, as a steam mop to wet clean and sanitize or as both at the same time. Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 8 July 2022 Under the consent decree, Abbott agreed to clean and sanitize its facility and all equipment, and to keep an independent expert on-site to make sure the plant is in compliance with FDA rules. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 4 June 2022 Days later, Maxwell was retaliated against for reporting the abuse when a guard ordered her into a shower to clean, sanitize, and scrub the walls with a broom, the lawyer said. Larry Neumeister, Star Tribune, 16 Feb. 2021 For example, Ami added wipeable pockets made of vinyl-like material to new designs so customers could easily sanitize the bags and find face coverings as well as extra pockets to hold hand sanitizers. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, 18 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near sanitize

sanitationist

sanitize

sanitizer

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Statistics for sanitize

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sanitize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanitize. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for sanitize

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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