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or (especially British) ionise

[ahy-uh-nahyz] /ˈaɪ əˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), ionized, ionizing.
to separate or change into ions.
to produce ions in.
verb (used without object), ionized, ionizing.
to become changed into the form of ions, as by dissolving.
Origin of ionize
1895-1900; ion + -ize
Related forms
ionizable, adjective
ionization, noun
ionizer, noun
nonionized, adjective
nonionizing, adjective
self-ionization, noun
unionized, adjective
ununionized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ionize
Historical Examples
  • Organic compounds, on the other hand, ionize only very slowly, if at all.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • Certain ultra-violet rays also ionize the air and cause the formation of ozone.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • Second, the upper atmosphere of Eisberg was pretty much pure hydrogen, which is somewhat easier to ionize than oxygen or nitrogen.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for ionize


to change or become changed into ions
Derived Forms
ionizable, ionisable, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ionize

1896, from ion + -ize. Related: Ionized; ionizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ionize in Medicine

ionize i·on·ize (ī'ə-nīz')
v. i·on·ized, i·on·iz·ing, i·on·iz·es
To dissociate atoms or molecules into electrically charged atoms or radicals.

i'on·iz'er n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ionize in Science
  1. To give an atom or group of atoms a net electric charge by adding or removing one or more electrons.

  2. To form ions in a substance. Lightning ionizes air, for example.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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