Definition of volatilize in US English:


(British volatilise)


[with object]
  • 1Cause (a substance) to evaporate or disperse in vapor.

    with object ‘the sulfur dioxide added before fermentation has already been volatilized’
    figurative ‘the novel has volatilized the essence of New England thought into wreaths of spiritual beauty’
    no object ‘mercury volatilizes and is condensed in earthenware receivers’
    • ‘The metal containing paint layer is heated to a second temperature for a second period of time in an oxygen-free atmosphere to volatilize the solvents in the paint.’
    • ‘Essential oils can be distinguished from fatty oils because they can be volatilised by heat and will evaporate.’
    • ‘When the trichomes were fully developed, the compounds were volatilized and only residues were responsible for an orange fluorescence in the cell wall area.’
    • ‘All of the jewelers used compressed-gas torches to heat-manipulate metals; in the process, metals were volatilized and subsequently condensed on nearby surfaces.’
    • ‘The material used to form the pattern should be something which can be melted, volatilized, or burned off, such as wax or plastic.’
    vaporize, become vapour
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Become volatile; evaporate.
      • ‘Herbicides also volatilize into the air and are carried to the bay as gases or particulates in the fog, wind, clouds, dust, snow and rain.’
      • ‘Avoid applying herbicides on windy days, and avoid using herbicides that volatilize or move through the soil easily.’
      • ‘Mercury can access the brain by volatilizing from dental fillings, or by crossing the blood-brain barrier after becoming absorbed from foods.’
      • ‘Mercury released from broken thermometers may enter the water supply through drains or volatilize into indoor air.’
      • ‘After they are applied, many pesticides volatilize into the lower atmosphere, a process that can continue for days, weeks, or months after the application, depending on the compound.’