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From sensitive +‎ -ize.


sensitize (third-person singular simple present sensitizes, present participle sensitizing, simple past and past participle sensitized)

  1. To make (someone or something) sensitive or responsive to certain stimuli.
    • 1999, Michael A. Kaliner, 12: Anaphylaxis, Marianne Frieri, Brett Kettelhut (editors), Food Hypersensitivity and Adverse Reactions, page 257,
      Anaphylaxis is the syndrome elicited in a hypersensitive subject upon subsequent exposure to the sensitizing antigen.
    • 2002, Cecil Colwin, Breakthrough Swimming, page 117,
      Great emphasis should be placed on sensitizing the hands to the feel of the water, and the hands should remain sensitized throughout the workout. [] Swimmers should sensitize the hands at the beginning of every workout by swimming the first 200 meters with their fists tightly clenched.
    • 2015, Christopher James, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes, page 441,
      Again, I strongly recommend that you sensitize your collodion-coated plates in a tank, rather than a tray, as it is safer, cleaner, and more process-efficient.
  2. To make (someone) increasingly aware of, in a concerned or sensitive way.
    Ever since the burglary, we've been more sensitized to home security issues.
  3. (transitive) To render capable of being acted on by actinic rays of light.


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