One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To cause to undergo autoionization.
2no object To undergo autoionization; specifically (of an atom or an energy level) to pass to a state or level of lower energy with the loss of an electron; (of a neutral substance) to dissociate forming positive and negative ions.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Journal of Physical Chemistry. From auto- + ionize, after autoionization.
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