noun Chemistry.

  1. the process or result of oxidizing.
  2. the deposit that forms on the surface of a metal as it oxidizes.


    1. the act or process of oxidizing
    2. (as modifier)an oxidation state; an oxidation potential

1791, from French oxidation (1787), coined by G. de Morveau and A. Lavoisier, noun of action from oxider “oxidize,” from oxide (see oxide).


  1. The combination of a substance with oxygen.
  2. A reaction in which the atoms in an element lose electrons and the valence of the element is correspondingly increased.

  1. The chemical combination of a substance with oxygen.
  2. A chemical reaction in which an atom or ion loses electrons, thus undergoing an increase in valence. Removing an electron from an iron atom having a valence of +2 changes the valence to +3. Compare reduction.

Any chemical reaction in which a material gives up electrons, as when the material combines with oxygen. Burning is an example of rapid oxidation; rusting is an example of slow oxidation. (See combustion and reduction.)

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