sen·​si·​ti·​za·​tion | \ ˌsen(t)-sə-tə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce sensitization (audio) , ˌsen(t)s-tə-ˈzā- \

Definition of sensitization

1 : the action or process of sensitizing
2 : the quality or state of being sensitized (as to an antigen)

Examples of sensitization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To understand this sensitization, the team then examined how the process works on a genomic level. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Study Finds Insects Can Experience Chronic Pain," 17 July 2019 Once a person becomes sensitive to formaldehyde, even a low-level exposure to the chemical can cause the body to react, and the sensitization may not be reversible. Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 Overstimulation led to more enjoyment of cocaine, less sensitization to it and ever more hyperactivity. Erik Vance, Scientific American, "Sorry, Mom and Dad, Toys Cannot Supercharge Your Baby," 15 May 2018 In the early years of the energy employees’ compensation program, more than a dozen workers, like Somerville, tested positive for beryllium sensitization and later developed the full-blown disease and radiogenic cancers, Pompa said. Yamil Berard, star-telegram, "The perils of Pantex: Hundreds of workers sickened at Texas nuclear weapons plant | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 12 Dec. 2015 Maybe not, but Holey’s up-close familiarity with the prevailing skin issues—particularly, a rise in inflammation and sensitization, often stemming from internal imbalances and aggressive topical protocols—stoked a desire to find lasting solutions. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Introducing the Chic, No-Fuss Skin-Care Line You Need Now," 29 Sep. 2017 Studies have shown, for example, that people can develop a general hypersensitivity to pain after an injury — a condition called central sensitization — that can persist long after the injury has healed. David C. Roberts, New York Times, "The Secret Life of Pain," 1 Aug. 2017

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

1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sensitization was in 1857

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Cite this Entry

“Sensitization.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sensitization


variants: also British sensitisation \ ˌsen(t)-​sət-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən, ˌsen(t)-​stə-​ˈzā-​ How to pronounce sensitisation (audio) \

Medical Definition of sensitization

1 : the action or process of making sensitive or hypersensitive allergic sensitization of the skin
2 : the process of becoming sensitive or hypersensitive (as to an antigen) also : the resulting state
3 : a form of nonassociative learning characterized by an increase in responsiveness upon repeated exposure to a stimulus — compare habituation sense 3

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sensitization

Comments on sensitization

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to insert between existing elements

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