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 In fact, maternal sensitization is possible even if the virgin’s pituitary gland—her hormonal manufacturing center—is surgically removed. Dina Litovsky, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Science of Motherhood," 22 Apr. 2021 In recent weeks, the Kenyan government has been on a sensitization campaign to reduce the reluctance of frontline workers to take the AstraZeneca vaccine. Star Tribune, "The Latest: Navajo Nation reports 4 new virus deaths," 3 Apr. 2021 Under the new guidance, schools must publish their safety and sensitization plans for public review at least one week before classes begin. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Texas to let parents decide if students go to school or receive online instruction in fall," 7 July 2020 For instance, repeated exposure to the proteins in some popular microbials can cause allergic sensitization and even lung inflammation. Melanie Bateman, The Conversation, "A global mask shortage may leave farmers and farm workers exposed to toxic pesticides," 27 Apr. 2020 Clauw and his Michigan colleagues believe that central sensitization shows up in myriad conditions, from irritable bowel syndrome to chronic pelvic pain to dry eye disease. Amber Dance, Scientific American, "The Unexpected Diversity of Pain," 20 Jan. 2020 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

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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Time Traveler for sensitization

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The first known use of sensitization was in 1857

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Statistics for sensitization

Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sensitization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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 sensitization (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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