[ dee-sen-si-tuh-zey-shuh n ]
/ diˌsɛn sɪ təˈzeɪ ʃən /


the act or process of desensitizing.
Physiology, Medicine/Medical. the elimination or reduction of natural or acquired reactivity or sensitivity to an external stimulus, as an allergen.
Psychiatry. a behavior modification technique, used especially in treating phobias, in which panic or other undesirable emotional response to a given stimulus is reduced or extinguished, especially by repeated exposure to that stimulus.

Nearby words

  1. desecration,
  2. deseed,
  3. desegregate,
  4. desegregation,
  5. deselect,
  6. desensitize,
  7. deseret,
  8. deserpidine,
  9. desert,
  10. desert a sinking ship

Origin of desensitization

First recorded in 1920–25; desensitize + -ation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for desensitization

Medicine definitions for desensitization


[ dē-sĕnsĭ-tĭ-zāshən ]


The reduction or abolition of allergic sensitivity or reactions to a specific allergen.antianaphylaxis
The mitigation of an individual's emotional response to a distressing stimulus by repeated exposure to or imagination of that stimulus.

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