verb (used with object), quan·tized, quan·tiz·ing.
  1. Mathematics, Physics. to restrict (a variable quantity) to discrete values rather than to a continuous set of values.
  2. Physics. to change the description of (a physical system) from classical to quantum-mechanical, usually resulting in discrete values for observable quantities, as energy or angular momentum.
Also especially British, quan·tise.

Origin of quantize

First recorded in 1920–25; quant(um) + -ize
Related formsquan·ti·za·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for quantized



verb (tr)
  1. physics to restrict (a physical quantity) to one of a set of values characterized by quantum numbers
  2. maths to limit (a variable) to values that are integral multiples of a basic unit
Derived Formsquantization or quantisation, 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

quantized in Science


  1. To limit a variable or variables describing a physical system to discrete, distinct values. For example, the energy of electromagnetic radiation such as light at a given frequency must be an integer multiple of hν, where ν is the frequency and h is a Planck's constant; electromagnetic energy is thus inherently quantized (in this case, photons are the quanta of energy). The distinct orbitals of electrons in an atom are also a case of quantized energy. Many apparently continuous phenomena turn out to be quantized at a very fine level or very small scale; quantum mechanics was developed in large part to explain many unexpected cases of quantization in the natural world.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.