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[ok-si-dahyz] /ˈɒk sɪˌdaɪz/ Chemistry
verb (used with object), oxidized, oxidizing.
to convert (an element) into an oxide; combine with oxygen.
to cover with a coating of oxide or rust.
to take away hydrogen, as by the action of oxygen; add oxygen or any nonmetal.
to remove electrons from (an atom or molecule), thereby increasing the valence.
Compare reduce (def 12).
verb (used without object), oxidized, oxidizing.
to become oxidized.
(especially of white wine) to lose freshness after prolonged exposure to air and often to darken in color.
Also, especially British, oxidise.
Origin of oxidize
1795-1805; oxide + -ize
Related forms
oxidizable, oxidable
[ok-si-duh-buh l] /ˈɒk sɪ də bəl/ (Show IPA),
oxidizability, noun
antioxidizing, adjective
half-oxidized, adjective
nonoxidizable, adjective
nonoxidizing, adjective
overoxidize, verb, overoxidized, overoxidizing.
reoxidize, verb, reoxidized, reoxidizing.
underoxidize, verb (used with object), underoxidized, underoxidizing.
unoxidizable, adjective
unoxidized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for oxidize
  • Solid-oxide fuel cells generate an electrical current by pulling oxygen from the air and using it to oxidize fuel.
  • They oxidize graphite to make graphite oxide and dissolve it in water.
  • As a wine ages in the bottle, its various components will change, and it will oxidize.
  • For example, bacteria living in active volcanoes oxidize sulfur to produce their own food.
  • Without regular attention, and occasionally even with it, paint will oxidize and fade under the sun's ultraviolet rays.
  • Silver does not oxidize, or rust, on exposure to air.
  • During the summer months, the sun's intense heat dries out the asphalt surface and causes it to oxidize.
  • Since groundwater has less oxygen, its metals seldom oxidize and don't efficiently bind to trace elements.
  • In microbial fuel cells, naturally occurring microorganisms oxidize wastewater.
  • At this point a laser can be used to de-oxidize the magnesium.
British Dictionary definitions for oxidize


to undergo or cause to undergo a chemical reaction with oxygen, as in formation of an oxide
to form or cause to form a layer of metal oxide, as in rusting
to lose or cause to lose hydrogen atoms
to undergo or cause to undergo a decrease in the number of electrons Compare reduce (sense 12c)
Derived Forms
oxidization, oxidisation, noun
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 oxidize

1802 (implied in oxidizable), from oxide + -ize. Related: Oxidized; oxidizing; oxidization.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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oxidize in Medicine

oxidize ox·i·dize (ŏk'sĭ-dīz')
v. ox·i·dized, ox·i·diz·ing, ox·i·diz·es

  1. To combine with oxygen; change into an oxide.

  2. To increase the positive charge or valence of an element by removing electrons.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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oxidize in Science
To undergo or cause to undergo oxidation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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