Definition of oxidize in English:


(British oxidise)


  • 1Combine chemically with oxygen.

    with object ‘when coal is burnt any sulphur is oxidized to sulphur dioxide’
    no object ‘the fats in the food will oxidize, turning it rancid’
    • ‘When the iron oxidizes with any trace oxygen in the atmosphere, it turns red.’
    • ‘These unsaturated hydrocarbons are readily oxidised and polymerised, which can reduce the oil's shelf life.’
    • ‘Many metals are readily oxidized by oxygen in the atmosphere.’
    • ‘Blackened lead white can be treated by oxidizing but oxygen will tarnish any silver.’
    • ‘The coke is oxidized to carbon dioxide, which changes to carbon monoxide at high temperatures.’
    wear away, wear down, eat away, eat away at, gnaw away, gnaw away at, bite into, burn into, burn through, erode, abrade, consume, dissolve
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Chemistry Undergo or cause to undergo a reaction in which electrons are lost to another species.
      with object ‘iron (ii) compounds are slowly oxidized by air to form iron (III) compounds’
      The opposite of reduce
      no object ‘secondary alcohols oxidize to give ketones’
      • ‘In the process of decomposing, H2O2 releases free radicals - highly reactive intermediates that oxidize other molecules by removing electrons or hydrogen atoms from them.’
      • ‘The reductant donates electrons and becomes oxidized while the oxidant gains electrons and is in turn reduced.’
      • ‘A species is oxidized in a reaction if it undergoes a increase in oxidation number.’
      • ‘A new reaction of this dye, whereby its excited triplet state oxidizes suitable electron donors, is now reported.’
      • ‘They remove electrons from the species being oxidized and are themselves reduced.’