Definition of sensitize in English:


(British sensitise)


[with object]often sensitize someone/something to
  • 1Cause (someone or something) to respond to certain stimuli; make sensitive.

    ‘the introductory section aims to sensitize students to the methodology of the course’
    • ‘It attempts to sensitize people to those emotions so they can be utilized to analyze and control the contingencies relevant to them and thereby to control these emotions.’
    • ‘As a tool it looks at the preferences of individuals and it is good for sensitising people to their differences and how they approach tasks.’
    • ‘Besides sensitising the people to the menace, the Central Bureau of Investigation should be permitted to act independently.’
    • ‘Aimed at sensitising the male psyche to the vulnerability of women to sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, the organisation is working on two phases.’
    • ‘The entertainment programme included a play by the college students, sensitising them to nutrition and personal hygiene, screening of a cartoon movie and a visit to the college's computer centre and a library meant for children.’
    • ‘Animal studies suggest that early trauma sensitizes individuals to be more vulnerable to social and emotional impairments associated with the effects of subsequent stressful or traumatic situations.’
    • ‘The hope is that the students are sensitised to not focus just on the disease itself, but on the patient.’
    • ‘The aim of this session was to sensitize the officers to the risks children face living in situations of domestic violence.’
    • ‘I believe that such an exercise sensitizes students to the family as they engage in the reflecting-team experience.’
    • ‘Problem-based learning employing ‘hands on’ teamwork in solving actual patient cases sensitized students to their professional role and those of other team members.’
    • ‘It is possible to sensitize students to the risks that exist so that they won't be surprised when an issue presents itself.’
    • ‘It aims to sensitise privileged schoolchildren to underprivileged ones.’
    • ‘So we have decided to air this show without commercials in a way that we try to sensitize the audience to people that they'll see in the show who really are no longer with us.’
    • ‘In trying to sensitize people to crimes aimed specifically at minorities, they are inadvertently desensitizing them to the vastly greater threat of crime against everyone.’
    • ‘The challenge of reading text in English may have sensitized the students to anything that appeared to be novel or different.’
    • ‘Is there then even a faint possibility of sensitising kids to the utopian ideals of freedom, justice and equality?’
    • ‘In order to sensitize students to difference and the need for social cooperation, short-term service programs often focus on what service means for the student and their character formation.’
    • ‘Cartoons and comics also have the potential to be used as an effective means of social communication and may be employed as a powerful tool for sensitising masses to a cause, or mobilising public opinion on an issue.’
    • ‘While the teaching video focuses on children's reactions to transitional changes, this video complements exercises presented in the guide that focus on sensitizing teachers to children's responses to change.’
    • ‘I'm not sure whether the writers of The Prisoner were scheming to sensitize young viewers to a future appreciation of punk, Situationism, or Dada, but that's what happened to me.’
    responsive to, quick to respond to, sensitized to, reactive to, sentient of
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    1. 1.1 Make (photographic film) sensitive to light.
      ‘the kit sensitizes any 35 mm film in hours’
      • ‘Black and white photographic emulsions are composed of layers of silver halide crystals, with additional small amounts of various sensitizing agents, suspended in gelatin.’
      • ‘In the daguerreotype process, an early type of photography, a silver plate was sensitized by exposure to iodine vapors.’
      • ‘The plates had to be sensitised just before the photograph was taken, and since this was the era of the wet collodion process and Egypt was very hot, many times Frith's collodion boiled while he was trying to coat his glass plates.’
      • ‘All tests of same process were on paper sensitized and developed together.’
      • ‘Photographers then added other sensitizing chemicals and allowed the plate to dry to a tacky consistency before dipping it in a bath of silver nitrate and other ingredients.’
      hypersensitive, sensitive, susceptible, sensitized
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    2. 1.2 Make (an organism) abnormally sensitive to a foreign substance.
      ‘the workers had been immunologically sensitized to the enzyme’
      • ‘Prostaglandins promote the development of hyperalgesia by sensitizing nociceptive neurons.’
      • ‘Before the introduction of troglitazone in 1997 metformin was the only drug able to sensitise target tissues (skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and the liver) to insulin.’
      • ‘Even smaller amounts can sensitize the immune system, setting the stage for disease.’
      • ‘This is quite modest at low work rates - except when the carotid chemoreceptors are sensitized, such as during sojourns at high altitude.’
      • ‘In both the short- and long-term protocols, a control group of mice was sensitized to OVA and challenged with saline alone.’