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Definition of "sensitize" [sen•si•tize]

  • To make sensitive: "The polarity principle . . . sensitizes the observer to the coexistence of seemingly contradictory phenomena” ( Heinz Eulau). (verb-transitive)
  • To make (a film or plate) sensitive to light, especially to light of a specific wavelength. (verb-transitive)
  • To make hypersensitive or reactive to an antigen, such as pollen, especially by a second or repeated exposure. (verb-transitive)
  • To become sensitive or hypersensitive. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "sensitize" in a sentence
  • "SENSITIVE—To sensitize is to make something more sensitive."
  • "Add omega-3 essential fatty acids to our diets, which help "sensitize" our cells to insulin."
  • "The intent of the program is to sensitize those most closely involved with Alzheimer's patients to develop a higher degree of understanding and patience in dealing with their behaviors and what it takes for them to get through the day,? said Dan Fox, a partner of Right at Home."