Ox"i*dize(ks"*dz), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Oxidized (ks"*dzd); p. pr. & vb. n. Oxidizing.] (Chem.) To combine with oxygen, or subject to the action of oxygen, or of an oxidizing agent. Specifically: (a) To combine with oxygen or with more oxygen; to add oxygen to; as, to oxidize nitrous acid so as to form nitric acid. (b) To remove hydrogen from (anything), as by the action of oxygen; as, to oxidize alcohol so as to form aldehyde. (c) To subject to the action of oxygen or of an oxidizing agent, so as to bring to a higher grade, as an -ous compound to an -ic compound; as, to oxidize mercurous chloride to mercuric chloride.
In certain cases to oxidize is identical with to acidify; for, in nearly all cases, the more oxygen a substance contains the more nearly does it approximate to acid qualities; thus, by oxidation many elements, as sulphur, nitrogen, carbon, chromium, manganese, etc., pass into compounds which are acid anhydrides, and thus practically in the acid state.
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