Other forms: sanitized; sanitizing; sanitizes

To sanitize something is to make it extremely clean. After watching you play with your slobbery dog, your fastidious friend might insist that you sanitize your hands before sitting down to dinner.

When you clean or sterilize something, particularly for reasons of good health (like not spreading germs), you can say that you sanitize it. You can also use this verb in a figurative way, whenever you "clean" something: "She doesn't want to risk alienating her audience, so she sanitizes her speech to remove anything that might offend them." The Latin root is sanitas, "health."

Definitions of sanitize
  1. verb
    make sanitary by cleaning or sterilizing
    synonyms: hygienise, hygienize, sanitise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    clean, make clean
    make clean by removing dirt, filth, or unwanted substances from
  2. verb
    make less offensive or more acceptable by removing objectionable features
    sanitize a document before releasing it to the press”
    sanitize history”
    sanitize the language in a book”
    synonyms: sanitise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

A paragraph of text

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘sanitize'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up sanitize for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer