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[sen-si-tahyz] /ˈsɛn sɪˌtaɪz/
verb (used with object), sensitized, sensitizing.
to render sensitive.
Photography. to render (a film or the like) sensitive to light or other forms of radiant energy.
Immunology. to render sensitive to an antigenic substance.
verb (used without object), sensitized, sensitizing.
to become sensitized.
Also, especially British, sensitise.
Origin of sensitize
First recorded in 1855-60; sensit(ive) + -ize
Related forms
sensitizer, noun
antisensitizer, noun
antisensitizing, adjective
nonsensitized, adjective
nonsensitizing, adjective
oversensitize, verb, oversensitized, oversensitizing.
resensitize, verb (used with object), resensitized, resensitizing.
unsensitize, verb (used with object), unsensitized, unsensitizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sensitize
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for sensitize


to make or become sensitive
(transitive) to render (an individual) sensitive to a drug, allergen, etc
(transitive) (photog) to make (a material) sensitive to light or to other actinic radiation, esp to light of a particular colour, by coating it with a photographic emulsion often containing special chemicals, such as dyes
Derived Forms
sensitization, sensitisation, noun
sensitizer, sensitiser, 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 sensitize

1856, in photography; see sensitive + -ize. Of persons from 1880. Related: Sensitized; sensitizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sensitize in Medicine

sensitize sen·si·tize (sěn'sĭ-tīz')
v. sen·si·tized, sen·si·tiz·ing, sen·si·tiz·es
To make hypersensitive or reactive to an antigen, such as pollen, especially by repeated exposure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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